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Southwest Florida Small Businesses Get New Export Finance Support as Economic Development Investment Fund Becomes Ex-Im Bank City-State Partner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 26, 2010

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Southwest Florida small businesses have new tools to help them succeed in global markets and create and sustain American jobs. The tools come from the Economic Development Investment Fund (EDIF), Sarasota, Fla., now that it has entered into a partnership with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

EDIF is a non-profit economic development organization that provides area small businesses the capital and resources they need to be successful. Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance U.S. exports and in the process keeps Americans employed.

EDIF has joined Ex-Im Bank's City-State Partners Program, a nationwide marketing initiative in which state and local government offices and private-sector organizations work with Ex-Im Bank to expand U.S. export opportunities.

EDIF is well positioned to help Ex-Im Bank reach out to small and medium-sized businesses in Florida's central southwest region, said Sharyn H. Koenig, director of Ex-Im Bank's Miami Regional Office. EDIF's main focus is business development with exporting companies, many of which need funding, and that makes it a perfect 'Marketing Partner' for Ex-Im Bank. I look forward to working with EDIF President Brian Caswell.

EDIF is a lending organization to help Southwest Florida businesses get from point A to point B, said Caswell. We work with several organizations and companies to provide businesses with the services and products they need to have the greatest chance of being successful. Our mission is to provide money so area businesses can make money, and Ex-Im Bank's support will be key to this effort.

As an Ex-Im Bank City/State Partner, EDIF can help local businesses learn about and apply for a range of Ex-Im Bank financing products, including short-term export-credit insurance to mitigate the risk of foreign buyer nonpayment, loan guarantees to increase export-related working capital, and medium-term financing for foreign buyers. EDIF is Ex-Im Bank's 56th City-State Partner.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world.

Over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped 494 Florida firms in 82 communities finance over $3.5 billion in exports. In fiscal year 2009 alone, the Bank authorized more than $940 million in financing to support Florida exports.

Overall in fiscal year 2009, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports, the highest level in the Bank's 75-year history. Ex-Im Bank also set a record during the last fiscal year for financing of small business exports at $4.36 billion. Small business transactions for the year totaled 2,540, or 87.9 percent of total Ex-Im Bank transactions. For more information, visit www.exim.gov. EDIF can be contacted at 941-586-0441.