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Newsom, Ex-Im Bank Officials Lead Exporter Forum to Help Calif., Small Businesses Gain Competitive Edge in Foreign Markets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 31, 2011

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Jamie Radice: 202-565-3200

Fresno, CA. - California small business owners learned today about how to gain a competitive edge in today's global marketplace when selling their goods and services overseas. This export advice came from California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the Export Import Bank's First Vice Chair Wanda Felton, and Board Member Sean Mulvaney during an exporter forum in Fresno, California. More than 70 representatives from local companies attended the event, which focused on how American companies can gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Business owners also received one-on-one trade counseling with Export-Import Bank experts.

California must make promoting both trade and its international presence an economic priority, said Newsom. It's clear that the state's economy is driven by the 11 largest metro areas and each must develop a robust comprehensive export strategy that will in turn benefit not only our entire state, but small businesses as well.

With 95% of the world's customers living outside the United States, it is critical that we encourage small businesses to export their products overseas, said Felton. Exports create and sustain American jobs, and Ex-Im Bank will continue to host forums across the country to educate small business owners on the benefits of exporting and how Ex-Im Bank products can help them successfully compete and win foreign sales.

Global Access is an important component of the President's plan to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, said Mulvaney. As a new board member, I am excited to participate in this forum, and I look forward to helping U.S. exporters, particularly small businesses across the country, leverage trade for growth and prosperity.

Small business owners who missed the Global Access forum can still learn how Ex-Im Bank can enable them to generate new export sales by contacting the Bank's Regional Export Finance Center at 949-660-1341 or by calling toll-free to 1-800-565-EXIM (3946) and selecting option 2. Ex-Im Bank offers information specifically designed to assist small business exporters secure export financing on its website at www.exim.gov.

Global Access is supported by a wide variety of business and financial and government partners, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the Bank's 60-plus city/state partners located throughout the U.S. This year, Export-Import Bank plans to hold more than 20 Global Access forums around the country.

The Export-Import Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. It has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years.

In FY2011 through June, Ex-Im Bank has approved nearly $22 billion in total authorizations - a historic year-to-date record - to support $28.1 billion in U.S. export sales. These sales will support approximately 189,700 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit Ex-Im Bank's Web site at www.exim.gov.