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Global Access For Small Business Forum In Lafayette Attracts Many Louisiana Small Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 24, 2011

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202-565-3200)

ExIm19
Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg (center) met with Philippe Gustin, manager of Le Centre International de Lafayette (left) and Jesse M. LaPierre, commercial officer, USEAC of New Orleans (right) at the Global Access for Small Business forum, held in Lafayette, La., on February 22.

Nearly 100 representatives of Louisiana small businesses participated in the Global Access for Small Business forum sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) in Lafayette, La., on February 23, 2010. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Louisiana 7th District Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.

At Ex-Im Bank, our number one priority is ensuring that American small businesses have better access to capital, and to export markets, so they can continue to fuel economic growth and job creation, said Hochberg. He added that the Bank is coordinating its resources with the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and others to meet the unique needs of small-business exporters.

Louisiana is a leader in international trade, and I am proud to promote our state's leading businesses. As we work to restore our economy, increasing exports is critical to creating good-paying jobs here at home. Ex-Im Bank helps to provide the necessary capital and technical expertise to small and medium-sized businesses that are working to expand their revenues and workforce through exporting, said Congressman Boustany.

Panel discussions featured success stories by local small-business owners and presentations by regional representatives of federal agencies, including Ex-Im Bank, the SBA and the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) of New Orleans. Attendees also received one-on-one trade counseling.

Global Access for Small Business is Ex-Im Bank's new initiative to help more than 5,000 small companies across the United States grow through exporting more goods and services produced by U.S. workers. It is an integral part of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) mission being led by the Commerce Department to double U.S. exports by 2015.

Global Access is supported by a wide variety of business, financial and government partners, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

In 2011, Ex-Im Bank is planning to hold approximately 20 Global Access forums around the country. For more information, see Global Access for Small Business on the Bank's home page at www.exim.gov.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal-government agency, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export-credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.

In fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance (including more than $5 billion in authorizations for small businesses), supporting an estimated 230,000 American jobs across the country.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (October through December 2010), the Bank reported that it approved an estimated $8 billion in total authorizations, supporting nearly $9.3 billion in export sales and 66,000 U.S. jobs. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.