Skip Navigation
Popcorn, Cotton Candy, Snow Cones: Alabama Business Treats the World
May 24, 2018 Elizabeth Thomas, Director Sales and Marketing, Office of Small Business

Summer is coming and across the country that means state and county fairs. And cotton candy. And snow cones. Or maybe a trip to the air conditioned movie theater to beat the heat. With popcorn, of course. If any of these stir your memory or make your mouth water, you, and people around the world, can thank Great Western Products.

Great Western, a 65 employee company headquartered in Hollywood, Alabama has been supplying concession products and related equipment for over 50 years, or as their slogan says, “Snack Pros Since Before Zip Codes!”  It started with popcorn and over the years expanded into other fun foods. Today, the company is completely vertically integrated and controls every aspect of their products from raw materials to packaged products, ensuring the highest quality snack fare.

In addition to growing their product lines, Great Western began expanding their business through exporting. Expansion often brings with it the need for capital, and Great Western was no exception. The company needed cash to manufacture products for exports. They had foreign accounts receivables, but unfortunately, the international receivables were not insured and their lender would not include them in the company’s borrowing base, leaving Great Western with a “dead” asset. Enter EXIM.
With export credit insurance from EXIM Bank, Great Western was able to accomplish two very important goals:
  • Leverage foreign accounts receivable to increase borrowing capacity
  • Protect international revenues and safeguard foreign receivables from the risk of nonpayment by international customers

By insuring their foreign accounts receivable and assigning the proceeds of the policy to their lender, Great Western was able to increase their borrowing base and have access to capital to support their export sales. In addition, company executives could breathe easier knowing that 95 percent of the gross invoice amount of foreign receivables were insured against nonpayment by their international buyers.

As a result, Great Western has grown and now supports U.S.-based jobs at their corporate headquarters in northeastern Alabama and at a facility in Illinois. And their reach continues to grow throughout the world.

So when you dive into that summer treat, think about this. If your family’s roots are in Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, Asia and/or South America, a long-lost cousin may be doing the same. Contact your local EXIM Bank representative for a free consultation, and we’ll help you grow your small business through exporting while protecting your company’s financial assets, like we help Great Western Products, and other small businesses every day.

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!