EXIM's Export Credit Insurance Enabled Minnesota Small Business to Export Fire Suppression Equipment to 44 Countries
Media Contact: Office of Communications (202-565-3203)
For Immediate Release: September 11, 2020
WASHINGTON - Fireaway, Inc., a small business in Minnetonka, Minnesota, that manufactures innovative fire suppression products, has been named an Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The company, which has used EXIM's export credit insurance to support its international sales since 2018, will be honored during EXIM's 2020 Annual Conference, the largest conference in the agency's history, which is being held virtually September 9-11.
Founded in 2005, Fireaway manufactures and sells the leading aerosol fire suppression system, Stat-X®, through a worldwide distribution network of more than 180 distributors, located in 44 countries on six continents. The robust 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.
"I am honored to recognize Fireaway on behalf of EXIM for its outstanding contributions to fulfilling our agency's mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports," said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed. "The winners of EXIM's Exporter of the Year award come from every region of our country and many different industries, but all represent American ingenuity and success. Approximately 90 percent of EXIM's authorizations directly support small businesses like the exporters being awarded today, and at EXIM we are proud to help in the success of these small businesses as they compete in the global marketplace and support American jobs."
Fireaway has used EXIM's export credit insurance twice, mostly recently beginning in 2018, giving it the ability 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.
"Over the past few years, Fireaway Inc. has significantly increased sales outside of the United States by offering credit terms to viable customers located in numerous countries," said Keath Young, Fireaway's Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer. "Without the confidence provided by our export credit insurance policy provided by EXIM, it is doubtful all this revenue would have been secured."
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.