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Over a Hundred Small Business Owners Attend Tampa Exporter Forum

Exporters, Government Officials and Business Leaders Provided Florida Small Businesses with Tips on how to Gain a Competitive Edge in Foreign Markets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 8, 2012

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Adrian Gianforti (202-565-3200)

Tampa, Fla. - Today, over a hundred Florida small business owners learned that selling to Turkish customers can be as easy as selling to customers in Tampa.

They attended an exporter forum at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County that was hosted by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and Sen. Bill Nelson. During the event, industry and government experts gave step-by-step instructions on how small business owners can boost sales and maintain jobs by increasing their export opportunities. Sen. Nelson, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, and Wanda Felton, first vice president and vice chair of Ex-Im Bank, spoke at the forum.

We want to help Florida businesses grow and prosper in an increasingly competitive, global economy, said Nelson. We want to give our businesses the tools they need to sell Florida-made goods and Florida-based services around the world.

We need to keep and grow jobs in America. Businesses in Florida and the Tampa Bay area are well-positioned to expand exports abroad and create jobs, commented Rep. Castor. Goods leave the Port of Tampa every day and touch every corner of our globe. The Port contributes to the creation of nearly 100,000 jobs already and I am confident we can do better.

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 Vice Chair Felton. Exports create and sustain American jobs, and Ex-Im Bank will continue to host forums across the country that educate small business owners on the benefits of exporting and on how Ex-Im Bank products can support sales.

Florida is one of the leading states in the country for Ex-Im small business financing. In Fiscal Year 2011 (FY'11) figures, $400 million in export credit was authorized to support sales by Florida small businesses. Texas was the only state to receive more Ex-Im small business financing.

During the event, attendees heard from representatives from Phasetronic, Inc. and Advanced Protection Technologies, Inc., both Florida small businesses that have successfully boosted their export sales. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in one-on-one consultations with representatives from Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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 by calling toll-free to 1-800-565-EXIM (3946). Ex-Im Bank offers information specifically designed to assist small business exporters secure export financing on its website.

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. Since launching in January 2011, Ex-Im Bank has held more than 30 other Global Access forums around the country.

About Ex-Im Bank:

Ex-Im 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. In the past six years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $3.7 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.