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EX-IM BANK-SBA PROGRAM WILL SUPPORT UP TO $100 MILLION IN EXPORT FINANCING FOR U.S. SMALL BUSINESSES

Co-Guarantee Agreement Signed At Ex-Im Bank's 2004 Annual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 28, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. small businesses seeking to sell their products and services in foreign markets will have access to expanded financing support due to a new cooperative effort by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The program will support an aggregate of up to $100 million in loans over two years.

Ex-Im Bank and SBA today signed an agreement at Ex-Im Bank's 2004 Annual Conference to launch a Co-Guarantee program. The program allows SBA and Ex-Im Bank to co-guarantee loans of up to $2 million to small business exporters under SBA's Export Working Capital Program (EWCP).

This agreement exemplifies the type of cooperation between government agencies that strengthens U.S. small business exports and creates and sustains high-quality U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill.

With the new Ex-Im Bank-SBA agreement, Ex-Im Bank provides a co-guarantee that supplements SBA's guarantee in order to provide the necessary support for larger loans of up to $2 million. Borrowers will still be able to work through their existing SBA lender.

Exporters and lenders wanting to know more about the program should call Ex-Im Bank's Charles Goohs at 202-565-3790 or SBA's Deborah Conrad at 410-962-4582.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank and its annual conference, visit www.exim.gov.