Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers Named 2020 EXIM Regional Export Promotion Program Member of the Year

Trade Centers Connect Illinois Small Business Exporters to the Global Marketplace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2020
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WASHINGTON - The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade Centers have been named the Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP) Member of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The Centers 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.

A program of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers are comprised of eight international trade centers that serve the statewide export community. The Centers offer information, counseling, and training to existing and prospective companies interested in pursuing international trade opportunities. The Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers at DCEO have held more than a dozen EXIM-related events and referred approximately $500,000 in EXIM authorizations over the last two fiscal years.

"EXIM works well with the Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers," said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed. "They exemplify our Regional Export Promotion Program partners, who utilize their local market knowledge to personally reach companies, especially small businesses, and connect them to EXIM's financial tools and resources to help them export their 'Made in the USA' goods and services around the globe. I congratulate them on this achievement and look forward to their continued engagement with EXIM to deliver even more successes for U.S. exporters."

A strong commitment to export education for small business owners has been key to the success of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers.

"EXIM's finance solutions have been a driving force in increasing export opportunities and minimizing potential financial risks for Illinois small business exporters. To that end, our network of Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers has continuously dedicated its efforts to promoting its programs to exporters," said Kevin Kim, an International Trade Specialist at the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with EXIM and ensuring more products made by Illinois small businesses reach foreign buyers. We appreciate this recognition of our team's work as we keep moving forward to new heights."

REPP brings cities, counties, states, and local nonprofit economic development entities together with EXIM in a partnership designed to expand export opportunities. REPP members like the Illinois SBDC International Trade Centers have local market knowledge and the ability to personally reach companies, serving as vital resources to connect EXIM with businesses that want to reach international markets. With 56 members in 35 states and two U.S territories, the program has yielded more than $25 million in new authorizations though direct referrals, connecting small businesses to the global economy.

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