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Small California Business Beats Competition in Central Europe Backed by Ex-Im Bank Insurance


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Guntert & Zimmerman Const. Div., Inc. (G&Z), Ripon, Calif., is keeping its 150 employees busy by selling $1.58 million in concrete paving equipment to the Czech Republic, backed by a medium-term insurance policy from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

The insurance will support a loan from Bank of the West, San Francisco, Calif., to DSH-Dopravni Stavby, A.S. (DSH), located in Brno, Czech Republic. DSH will use the financing to buy the G&Z equipment to expand its fleet of road construction machinery.

Ex-Im Bank's and Bank of the West's support were instrumental in our being able to secure this deal, said Guntert President/CEO Ronald M. Guntert, Jr. Central and Eastern Europe are very competitive markets, but the high quality of our equipment, the competitive U.S. dollar and this Ex-Im Bank-backed credit facility helped push the purchase in our favor.

Guntert said the transaction will be a big contribution to total revenues for the year. It will help keep our people busy. Right now our backlog is exports. If the backlog continues to grow, we will bring on more people. Currently we're looking for another engineer and some machinists.

One of Ex-Im Bank's highest priorities is to boost the competitiveness of U.S. small businesses in the global marketplace, and in the process help maintain and create U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. We are ready to support follow-on business to contribute to the rapid infrastructure growth of the Czech Republic and other Central and Eastern European nations.

Especially now, with tightened liquidity due to the recession, exporters have a real opportunity to take advantage of benefits offered by Ex-Im Bank, said Bank of the West Vice President and Ex-Im Bank Program Manager Hana Hrabec-Snyder. Small transactions like this are very important for job creation, and can open opportunities for other U.S. companies to sell into the Czech Republic as well.

John Keevan-Lynch, president of Provident Traders, Inc., the insurance broker on the transaction, assisted Bank of the West in getting the package put together and approved at Ex-Im Bank.

Initially started in 1942 by Ronald Guntert's father as an engineering and construction company to fulfill World War II contracts, G&Z was incorporated under its current name in 1948. Today the company exports to a wide range of global markets including the Netherlands, Indonesia, India, the Czech Republic and Canada.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal government agency, exists to fill gaps in export financing, to strengthen U.S. export competitiveness and to help create and maintain U.S. jobs. The Bank provides a variety 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.

Small businesses interested in learning more about Ex-Im Bank's export financing products may contact their nearest regional office by dialing, toll-free, 1-800-565-EXIM and selecting option 2.

In fiscal 2009, overall Ex-Im Bank financings came to $21 billion, while authorizations for small business exporters totaled $4.36 billion, both historic highs. In the first four months of fiscal 2010, the Bank authorized a record $10.9 billion in loans, guarantees, and insurance - more than three times the amount authorized in the same period of fiscal 2009. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.