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Sen. McCaskill, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Hochberg Detail Financing Tools for Small-Business Exporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 24, 2011

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianne Ohe (202-565-3200)

KANSAS CITY, MO. - Some 75 representatives of Missouri and Kansas small businesses participated in the Global Access for Small Business forum sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) in Kansas City, Mo., on February 25, 2010.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri co-hosted the event with Ex-Im Bank, The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg urged Missouri-area small businesses to seek out the resources of the federal government to begin or expand exporting to maintain and create U.S. jobs. He highlighted Ex-Im Bank's export finance products specifically designed to help small businesses access credit and cover the risks of international markets.

Small businesses say to me, 'I already lose sleep worrying about getting paid by my customers in the U.S. How on earth am I going to sell across the globe?' said Hochberg. I tell them Ex-Im Bank has the tools, the resources and the relationships to mitigate those fears. Hochberg said the Bank is coordinating its resources with the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and others to meet the unique needs of small-business exporters.

In these tough economic times, small businesses can benefit greatly from accessing new markets through exports, said Senator McCaskill. Small businesses are the engine of our economic recovery, and I'm glad that today's event is connecting area small businesses with resources and opportunities to help increase their exports.

Regional representatives from Ex-Im Bank, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development explained how they can help local companies grow sales of U.S. goods and services by exporting. Local small-business owners also shared their export success stories. The panels were followed by one-on-one trade counseling sessions for forum attendees.

Global Access for Small Business is Ex-Im Bank's new initiative to help more than 5,000 new-to-Ex-Im small companies grow, by the year 2015, by exporting more goods and services produced by U.S. workers. It is an integral part of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI) mission being led by the Commerce Department to double U.S. exports by 2015.

Global Access is supported by a wide variety of business, financial and government partners, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal-government agency, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export-credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.

In fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance (including more than $5 billion in authorizations for small businesses), supporting an estimated 230,000 American jobs across the country.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 (October through December 2010), the Bank reported that it approved an estimated $8 billion in total authorizations, supporting nearly $9.3 billion in export sales and 66,000 U.S. jobs.