Export-Import Bank of the United States President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis Kicks Off National Small Business Week with New Council Announcement, Small Business Events

Chair Announces New EXIM Council on Small Business Alongside Los Angeles Small Business Leaders
Media Contact Name/Phone
Office of Communications (202-730-6639/202-993-0409)

WASHINGTON – During a trip to California, EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis announced on Monday the creation of a new Council on Small Business at a symposium dedicated to providing minority- and women-owned businesses information about growing their businesses to compete globally.

The Council on Small Business will be a subcommittee of EXIM’s Advisory Committee and provide recommendations on ways EXIM can help more American small business exporters find new markets, achieve more sales, and lower the risk of selling internationally. Council membership is anticipated to include representatives from small businesses, economic development organizations, the financial sector, trade associations, and other private and public sector organizations. The application period will open early this summer.

“As America kicks off National Small Business Week, EXIM celebrates the tenacity and resilience of U.S. small businesses,” said Chair Lewis. “As the daughter of small business owners, I know firsthand how important these companies and their workers are to communities and America’s economy. EXIM’s goal with this new Council is to build a better America through stronger small business export competitiveness, thereby strengthening communities large and small across the country.”

Through the creation of this Council and new dialogues with business leaders across the country, EXIM is laying new foundations that will help American small business compete and win. In FY 2021, EXIM authorizations for minority- and women-owned businesses increased 10 percent. Eighty-seven percent of EXIM’s transactions directly benefitted U.S. small business exporters and 33 percent of total direct export value supported small businesses.

Chair Lewis was joined at the EXIM-hosted symposium by special guest U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragán. The event, Export Essentials, served as a forum for minority and women business owners to learn more about the resources available for them to expand and compete in global markets. Chair Lewis emphasized EXIM’s dedication to expanding opportunity for small and historically under-served businesses.

Afterwards, Chair Lewis championed the new Council in a roundtable with Los Angeles small business and community leaders. The discussion was co-hosted by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Public Private Strategies Institute, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the NextGen Chamber of Commerce. At the roundtable, participants shared export challenges facing their companies and discussed ways in which EXIM support can advance America’s small business, clean energy and supply chain competitiveness. Chair Lewis reiterated President Biden’s whole-of-government strategy to building stronger supply chains by making more in America, exporting more from America, and developing deeper commercial partnerships with values-aligned nations.


The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.