Every so often I have the privilege of attending and speaking at a Global Access Forum, a town-hall seminar designed to introduce U.S. businesses to the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) and its local state and federal partners.
Most recently, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Congressman Gerry Connelly hosted EXIM, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Northern Virginia-District of Columbia U.S Export Assistance Center to discuss opportunities for U.S. businesses abroad and how to increase international sales.
At the recent GAF in Fairfax, I had the opportunity to present the benefits EXIM offers U.S. exporters, specifically tools and products that allow U.S. businesses to minimize the risk of doing business internationally. In particular, I highlighted the benefits of Export Credit Insurance, EXIM’s Global Credit Express Product--a direct loan to U.S. businesses for export working capital-- and EXIM’s Working Capital Loan Guarantee. While EXIM assists U.S. exporters to overcome the challenges of obtaining financing, the recent GAF also surveyed export resources available through USTDA, the U.S. Commercial Service and the SBA. The panel I was on was moderated by myself and the Virginia SBDC, which provides a range of services to small businesses in the state of Virginia, including export counseling and training.
My colleague from USTDA highlighted how the Agency links U.S. businesses to global infrastructure opportunities by promoting the sales of U.S. goods and services in emerging markets in order to support high paying jobs across the U.S. USTDA empowers U.S. exporters to enter high growth markets by sponsoring reverse trade missions, holding sector- and industry-specific conferences and workshops, funding project planning activities, and providing in depth market research on relevant countries, all of which can be accessed via USTDA's library at no cost to U.S. businesses.
Additionally, the U.S. Commercial service presented on a variety of services it offers to U.S. businesses seeking to grow their businesses internationally. With a global network of 122 offices across the United States and offices in 80 U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, the sun never sets on the U.S. Commercial Service. Specifically, my colleague from the Northern Virginia-District of Columbia U.S Export Assistance Center highlighted low-cost products they offer to U.S. businesses interested in exporting. These products include trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy. In particular, she identified an online assessment the Commercial Service offers to determine if your U.S. business is export ready.
Lastly, my SBA colleague shared information on the SBA’s three export loan guarantee programs: the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), Export Express, and the International Trade Loan Program (ITL). Export Express and EWCP provide loan guarantees for pre-export working capital for amounts up to $500,000 and $5 million, respectively. The ITL, on the other hand, provides a loan guarantee for term loans up to $5 million for fixed assets and working capital to businesses that plan to start or continue exporting or that have been adversely affected by competition from imports.
To learn more about these and other U.S. government resources for exporters, please visit www.export.gov or http://business.usa.gov/export. To learn more about the services offered by the Virginia SBDC, please visit https://www.virginiasbdc.org/.
Already exporting and require financing to complete your sales? Request a consultation with a Trade Finance Specialist to find out if your business qualifies for EXIM products.