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Nearly 400 U.S. suppliers benefit from Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantee


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Nancy Publicover (202) 565-3200

Summit Power Equipment Inc., a Kenner, La. wholesaler of industrial equipment has increased its customer base by over 60 percent and doubled its workforce from four to eight employees, after just two years as a customer of the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Armed with an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed revolving $125,000 working capital loan, Summit annually exports over $2 million of industrial equipment, parts and supplies from nearly 400 U.S. manufacturers to 25 businesses in Jamaica, Belize, and Costa Rica. Summit's customers include a soft drink bottler, a brewery, a shrimp farm, a commercial fishing and packaging house, a vegetable oil processing plant, and a plastic bag and products manufacturer.

The additional credit line opened us up to doing more business with our customers and taking advantage of new sales opportunities, said Ricky Whitfield, president of Summit. Before coming to Ex-Im Bank, we relied on a small line of credit based on receivables. It wasn't enough to allow us to set up payment terms we needed for our customers.

The Ex-Im Bank guarantee was crucial in helping Summit obtain the line of credit it needed to keep growing, said Cathey Saurage, a Bank One loan officer in Louisiana. When I met with them and found out that 95 percent of their business was in export sales and that they had no outside financing, I told them about Ex-Im Bank. They have used the Ex-Im Bank line of credit since 1997 and it has been increased in order to accommodate their export growth.

Bank One is an Ex-Im Bank delegated authority lender, part of a national network of lenders authorized to approve working capital loan guarantees on behalf of Ex-Im Bank up to a pre-set limit. The program helps small businesses like Summit that have great potential but are stretched for working capital, said Martha Gentry, program manager for export financing at Bank One.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance.

In Louisiana, Ex-Im Bank has supported 32 communities, 95 companies and financed a total of $108.1 million in exports during the last five years. Ex-Im Bank financing has sustained anestimated 1,568 jobs and contributed to the success of many local companies. More than 62 percent of the transactions benefited small businesses such as Summit. Nationally, Ex-Im Bank supported approximately $13 billion in U.S. exports in the 1998 fiscal year.