Presents Award to Minnesota Small Business Providing Fire Suppression Equipment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 13, 2020
Office of Communications (202) 565-3207
MINNETONKA, Minn. – Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed today presented an Exporter of the Year award to Fireaway, Inc., a small business in Minnetonka, Minnesota that manufactures innovative fire suppression products. The company, which has used EXIM’s export credit insurance to support its international sales since 2018, was honored during EXIM’s virtual 2020 Annual Conference, the largest in the agency’s history, which was held in September. Chairman Reed presented the award in person to Fireaway President and CEO Lance Harry while visiting the company facility in Minnesota, where they employ 40 workers. The company has an additional 10 workers in Minton, Louisiana.
Following the award presentation, Chairman Reed took a tour of the Fireaway Production and Shipping facility, led by Fireaway COO and CFO Keath Young, and joined by Representative Dean Phillips (MN-03), who serves on the House Financial Services Committee.
“I am honored to present this award on behalf of EXIM to Fireaway, a great Minnesota success story,” said EXIM Chairman Reed. “This small business, which provides fire suppression systems deployed to some of the toughest and most dangerous conditions, represents the backbone of the American economy, and their success has contributed to fulfilling our agency’s mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports.”
“We are honored that Kimberly A. Reed, President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, visited our facility today to present the Exporter of the Year award in person,” said Fireaway President and CEO Lance D. Harry. “EXIM’s support has been a vital part of our success, allowing us to increase global sales and increase our revenue.”
Fireaway Chief Technology Officer Anthony Gee, President & CEO Lance Harry, EXIM Chairman Reed, COO Keath Young
Fireway Chief Operating Officer Keath Young and EXIM Chairman Kimberly Reed holding fire suppression equipment.
Founded in 2005, Fireaway manufactures and sells the aerosol fire suppression system, Stat-X®, through a worldwide distribution network of more than 180 distributors, located in 44 countries on six continents. The Stat-X® fire suppression units have been deployed in the toughest conditions, ranging from underground mines and power substations to military vehicles and wind turbines, providing effective and economical fire suppression solutions to customers around the world. Fireaway’s team of veteran fire protection professionals is based in Minnesota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, and Madrid, Spain. In 2019, the company was honored with the Minnesota Governor’s International Trade Award for building successful global markets.
Fireaway uses export credit insurance to offer customers favorable credit terms. As a small business with limited resources, that support was critical to Fireaway’s exporting success, by providing working capital cash flow and mitigating the risk of nonpayment. Fireaway was able to increase sales in existing markets and expand into new ones, currently exporting to 44 countries. With more than 82 percent of 2019 revenue generated by international sales, all 50 jobs are supported by exports. EXIM has supported Fireaway exports valued at more than $12 million since 2018. The company’s policy is facilitated by EXIM broker Trade Acceptance Group, Ltd., of Edina, Minnesota.
Since 2014, EXIM has supported exports valued at $877 million from 123 companies — including 84 small businesses like Fireaway — across Minnesota.
U.S. companies, particularly small businesses, can utilize EXIM’s financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their “Made in the USA” products, and sustain American jobs. By partnering with EXIM, exporters can mitigate the risk of nonpayment on international sales, offer credit terms to foreign buyers, and access working capital loan guarantees. In addition, EXIM has implemented several COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions to enhance the agency’s existing programs.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.