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EXIM: Protecting Small Businesses and Driving Economic Growth
August 02, 2018 Elizabeth Thomas, Director Sales and Marketing, Office of Small Business

Are you one of the 300,000 U.S.-based small businesses that export your products and services to international markets? Do you know there are ways to protect your company’s assets from non-payment by foreign buyers and to improve your cash flow? 

Established in 1934, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is a federal government agency whose mission is to support U.S.-based jobs by facilitating the export of U.S.-produced goods and services. EXIM is the official export credit agency of the United States and fills the gaps when private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing for international sales. Over 90 percent of EXIM’s transactions support small businesses – no company and no transaction is too small. Here are a few examples of ways EXIM supports small business exporters:

Export Credit Insurance
Export credit insurance is an insurance policy issued by a commercial broker that is underwritten with the full faith and credit of the United States Government. The policy protects exporters’ accounts receivables and enables companies to increase their competitiveness by offering open account credit terms to foreign buyers up front.  With export credit insurance an exporter can:

  • Extend credit terms to foreign customers at very low risk.
  • Insure against nonpayment by international buyers.
  • Cover commercial (e.g., bankruptcy) and political (e.g. war, insurrection) risks.
  • Arrange financing through a lender by using insured receivables as additional collateral.

Working Capital Loan Guarantee
Building products or preparing proposals for international buyers often requires an infusion of cash.  EXIM’s Working Capital Loan Guarantee can unlock cash flow and provide funds to fuel international sales. Funds can be used to:

  • Pay for materials, equipment, supplies, labor and other inputs to fulfill export orders.
  • Post standby letters of credit serving as bid bonds, performance bonds or payment guarantees.
  • Purchase finished products for export.

EXIM doesn’t replace your commercial bank.  We work with your lender to provide a 90 percent loan guarantee that backs the debt and protects the lender from nonpayment.

Export credit insurance and working capital loan guarantees are just two examples of ways EXIM supports small businesses that have been in business for at least one year, have financial statements or tax returns and a D&B DUNS number, and are exporting products that have greater than 50 percent U.S. content, including labor and overhead, but excluding mark-up.  EXIM products are generally not available for exports to foreign militaries and defense related industries, with some exceptions (e.g. some medical products).

Learn More
EXIM has experts located throughout the country who can answer questions, provide education on products and services, and guide you through the application process. Simply complete the Request for Consultation form below and an EXIM Bank representative will contact you shortly.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.