EXIM’s Export Credit Insurance Enabled Vermont Small Business to Expand Existing Sales and Enter New Markets
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 21, 2021
Office of Communications (202) 565-3204
WASHINGTON – Cabot Hosiery Mills, Inc./Darn Tough, a small, family-owned business in Northfield, Vermont, that manufactures high-quality socks designed to be durable for outdoor activities, has been named an Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The company, which has used EXIM’s export credit insurance to support its international sales since 2017, was awarded today at EXIM’s 2021 Annual Conference being held virtually September 21-23.
“I am pleased to recognize Darn Tough for their outstanding contributions to fulfilling EXIM ’s mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports,” said EXIM Acting Senior Vice President of Small Business and Vice President of Women- and Minority-Owned Business Outreach Tamara Maxwell. “Approximately 90 percent of EXIM’s authorizations directly support small businesses such as the exporters being awarded at the annual conference. EXIM is dedicated to facilitating the exporting success of U.S. small businesses as they compete in the global marketplace and support American jobs at home.”
About 40 years ago, Cabot Hosiery Mills got its start producing socks for larger USA apparel brands such as Gap and other companies. When these brands began importing and manufacturing socks from overseas due to costs in the late 1990s, Cabot Hosiery Mills suffered financially and almost had to file for bankruptcy. Saving the company, the owners’ son, Ric, created the successful high-performance sock that would later become the face of its brand Darn Tough Vermont® and would be exported to countries around the world.
“Working with EXIM has enabled Darn Tough to expand internationally with confidence while safeguarding one of our highest risk areas—receivables! Protecting this aspect of our business brings peace of mind and allows us to focus on customer experience and developing a strategy to bring our socks to new marketplaces,” said Darn Tough International Sales and Business Development Manager Joe Nocito.
The company began exporting Darn Tough Vermont® 10 years ago to Japan. Growing in size and success, the company wanted to expand its exports to the United Kingdom and Europe, but with a lack of experience and understanding of the credit side of foreign exporting, they turned to EXIM, which provided export credit insurance to cover the credit risks. EXIM has enabled Darn Tough to grow its business by expanding into new marketplaces, adding domestic workforce to support growth, and building brand equity around the world. In the past five years, the company has expanded its exports to Taiwan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria.
Since 2014, EXIM has supported exports valued at $230 million from 10 companies—including small businesses such as Cabot Hosiery Mills Inc./Darn Tough—across Vermont.
U.S. companies, particularly small businesses, can utilize EXIM’s financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their “Made in the USA” products, and create and sustain American jobs. By partnering with EXIM, exporters can mitigate the risk of nonpayment on international sales, offer credit terms to foreign buyers, and access working capital loan guarantees. In addition, EXIM has implemented several COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions to enhance the agency’s existing programs.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.