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RURAL LOUISIANA LUMBER MILL IS EX-IM BANK SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER OF THE YEAR

Almond Brothers Lumber Co., Coushatta, LA, to be recognized at Ex-Im Bank Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., April 12-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 6, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Almond Brothers Lumber Company of Coushatta, LA, a family owned and operated lumber mill selling southern yellow pine to international markets, has been chosen to receive the 2000 Small Business Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Almond Brothers will be honored at an awards ceremony at Ex-Im Bank's Annual Conference to held at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 12-13.

Located in an economically depressed rural area designated as an Enterprise Zone by the state of Louisiana, Almond Brothers has increased its workforce from 65 to 89 people while sustaining more than 150 other logging jobs in the community since it began using Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee Program in 1997. The company expects an Ex-Im Bank insurance policy obtained last year to enable it to sell to an even larger customer base while minimizing foreign risk.

Almond Brothers is an outstanding example of how a small family owned enterprise can successfully contribute to the US export effort and US job creation through the use of Ex-Im Bank financing, said Ex-Im Bank Board Member D. Vanessa Weaver.

We used to rely on brokers to handle international sales, said William R. Almond, one of the company's owners and officers. When we started exporting directly, our bank could not lend against foreign accounts receivable, and this limited our working capital. The Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital line of credit has allowed us to look at new markets, actively seek new customers, increase our source of supply and better manage our inventory.

Almond Brothers' export sales as a percentage of revenues have escalated from 5% in 1991 to over 90% in 1999. The company's exporting activity has grown to 213 foreign companies in over 20 countries.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports to developing markets throughout the world by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.