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EX-IM BANK WEB SITE HELPS RHODE ISLAND EXPORTER WIN LATIN AMERICA SALES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 2, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Nancy Publicover (202) 565-3200

Maxson Automatic Machinery Co. of Westerly, RI has a $255,000 loan guarantee and a new customer in Venezuela thanks to an Internet search that lead the Rhode Island small business to Ex-Im Bank's Web site. Erin Erni, head of international sales for the manufacturer of paper cutting and stacking equipment, said with Ex-Im Bank's backing her company was able to offer Suplygrafica Espacial C.A., of Maracay, Venezuela, more competitive financing than their rivals in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom -- some of whom had the backing of their national export credit agencies.

We'd been exporting aggressively and were losing sales to foreign competition. Since we only do about ten to 12 transactions each year, every sale counts in terms of income and jobs sustained, said Erni. For a company our size, (Ex-Im Bank's guarantee) made all the difference in the world. If Suplygrafica couldn't get financing they couldn't do the deal.

Erni said Ex-Im Bank's guarantee has helped Maxson weather the uncertainties in the global market. Since the financial crisis (in Asia), we've focused more on Latin America, where financing counts and every order is hotly contested, she explained. Erni says that from now on Ex-Im Bank financing will be part of Maxson's sales pitch to Latin American customers.

This is great news for Maxson Machinery and for business in Rhode Island, said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). Loan guarantees such as this one help our small businesses to jump-start business, keep pace with foreign competition, who often outweigh them in terms of advantages, and help spur the creation of jobs in Rhode Island and throughout the U.S. I encourage other small businesses to follow Maxson's lead and explore programs available through the Export-Import Bank.

Erni contacted the Rhode Island Economic Development Authority, which introduced her to John Lavelle, head of Ex-Im Bank's New York regional office. Lavelle directed Erni to the First International Bank of Hartford, CT, which helped Suplygrafica obtain Ex- Bank's guarantee and extended financing for the sale.

We knew in five minutes they were the right size bank to do business with us and that we were exactly the [medium-sized] business they were looking for, said Erni. Spanish-speaking loan officers at First International Bank were able to communicate directly with Suplygrafica in Venezuela to keep the deal moving along.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In Rhode Island, Ex-Im Bank has supported 11 communities, 13 companies and financed a total of $28.4 million in exports during the last five years. Ex-Im Bank financing has sustained an estimated 411 jobs. More than half the transactions benefitted small businesses such as Maxson. Nationally, Ex-Im Bank supported approximately $13 billion in U.S. exports in the 1998 fiscal year.