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TechTown Becomes Ex-Im Bank City/State Partner To Boost Exports, Create Jobs in Michigan

Financing Exceeds $32 Billion for the First Time, Fueled by Dramatic Rise in Key Industry Sectors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 13, 2011

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Trevor Horan (202) 565-3200

For the first time, Detroit business owners will have a unique advantage entering the global marketplace as the result of a newly established partnership between TechTown and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Local entrepreneurs can access the services and export-financing products of Ex-Im Bank, as well as a variety of educational opportunities to learn more about exporting.

TechTown has joined the roster of Ex-Im Bank's City-State Partners to increase local export activity and create jobs.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg highlighted the critical link between exporting and jobs. Through this partnership with TechTown, we have an unprecedented opportunity to educate Detroit's entrepreneurial community about the benefits of exporting, Chairman Hochberg said. It is an important first step in introducing many Michigan businesses to the world.

Techtown is a nonprofit business development center based in Detroit that is working to reignite the area's entrepreneurial culture. Since its inception in 2004, TechTown has embraced a strategy to boost exports and attract foreign business. TechTown enables foreign companies to set up a Detroit base of North American operations. It also works to encourage local businesses to grow through exports.

We are focusing on job creation, said TechTown General Manager Leslie Smith. Our goal is to nurture startup companies through our Thrive program so they are in a position to benefit from Ex-Im's financial assistance products. This program, in particular, will help our client companies open new markets and obtain the financial support they need to leverage those market opportunities.

Smith noted that TechTown's partnership with Ex-Im Bank will expand the scope of its reach beyond the startup companies with which it is affiliated.

TechTown is being charged with educating the broader Michigan business community, including established companies, said Smith. Eventually, we hope to offer export-support services to companies throughout the region.

In FY 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $457 million to help Michigan businesses export. This figure included more than $128 million in small-business authorizations. At the end of FY 2011, approximately 70 percent of Ex-Im's Michigan authorizations supported small businesses.

Since January 2011, Ex-Im Bank has expanded its outreach to small businesses through the Global Access for Small Business initiative. The initiative is dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of small businesses exporting goods and services to maintain and create U.S. jobs. Global Access is supported by a wide variety of representatives from business, financial and government partners and is part of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI). Small-business owners have been given access to these representatives for one-on-one trade counseling at 22 Global Access forums held across the country.

Ex-Im Bank will host a Global Access forum in Detroit on November 18th. To learn more about the upcoming forum, see the Global Access events page on Ex-Im's Web site.

About TechTown

TechTown, Detroit's research and technology park, was established in 2000 when Wayne State University, General Motors and the Henry Ford Health System convened to create an engine of economic growth with both local and statewide impact. TechTown provides resources that include commercial real estate, coaching, mentoring, educational workshops and access to capital. For more information, visit www.techtownwsu.org.

About Ex-Im Bank

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved more than $32 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting more than $40 billion in U.S. export sales and an estimated 300,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.