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Trade Acceptance Group of Edina, Minn. Is Named Ex-Im Bank's Small Business Broker of the Year


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Trade Acceptance Group, Ltd., a trade finance company headquartered in Edina, Minn., is to receive the 2008 Small Business Broker of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 17.

An active promoter of insurance to small business exporters, the suburban Minneapolis company currently has 180 Ex-Im Bank small-business export insurance policies, a 62 percent increase over 2001.

Soon after forming our company in 1996, we saw that short-term trade credit insurance was a fast-growing financing tool to help U.S. small businesses compete in global markets, said Trade Acceptance Group principal Curt Hanson. We became one of the most active brokers in the country, and we haven't looked back.

Co-founders Hanson and Leslie Bergland look at small businesses differently than other brokers do, Hanson said. We see them as attractive clients that typically are interested in more than one financing product. We become their strategic partner and provide a package of Ex-Im Bank services including short-term insurance, working capital guarantees, and medium-term insurance and loan guarantees for foreign buyers, as well as offer credit reports, consulting and training services. We provide turnkey solutions, he added.

Trade Acceptance Group's innovative outreach efforts give Ex-Im Bank a vital link to small businesses around the country, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. The fast growth of this company's Ex-Im Bank-related business and its enthusiastic promotion of our products make them an ideal recipient of this award.

Most of Trade Acceptance Group's business involves Ex-Im Bank-supported transactions, although the company works with all insurers covering the export credit market, according to Hanson. In addition to working with U.S. exporting firms, it works with U.S. banks that have exporting clients, including many independent community banks that are a really good source of small business clients. Trade Acceptance Group also works with regional banks and larger companies, and has clients coast-to-coast, with the majority in the Midwest.

The company recently opened a Chicago office.

ABRO Industries, Inc., of South Bend, Ind., which is this year's winner of Ex-Im Bank's award for Small Business Exporter of the Year for sub-Saharan Africa, is one of Trade Acceptance Group's most important clients. ABRO was introduced to Trade Acceptance Group at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in 2002, where Trade Acceptance was also recognized as Ex-Im Bank's Small Business Broker of the Year.

Ex-Im Bank's 33rd annual conference on April 17 and 18 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 17 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 74th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. The Bank authorized $3.4 billion in direct support of small businesses for the year. The 2,390 transactions in support of small business during 2007 represented 85.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank transactions. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.