American businesses are increasingly turning to exports as a source of opportunity, growth and diversification. Though foreign markets are more accessible than ever, exporting is still more complicated than doing business domestically and presents a unique set of challenges. Business owners with an eye on the international marketplace should not be deterred. There are powerful resources to empower exporters to overcome obstacles to global growth. One such resource – the network of U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) – should be on every exporter’s radar.
What is a USEAC?
USEACs are one-stop shops that equip U.S. businesses to compete globally. Staffed by international trade specialists from EXIM Bank, the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration (SBA), these centers are located in metropolitan areas throughout the United States. They serve as ground-level support for American exporters and exporters-to-be.
What Kind of Support is Available at USEACs?
EXIM regional trade specialists provide personal guidance on export finance solutions available to U.S. businesses. They help exporters explore their options and develop a plan of action with solutions tailored to their needs. EXIM experts can equip a business to:
- Borrow against export-related assets and unlock working capital loans from its lender
- Protect open account terms and offer potential customers the credit necessary to win sales
- Leverage credit risk management expertise and confidently enter new markets
- Secure term financing for foreign buyers of capital equipment at advantageous interest rates
- Support performance and bid guarantees required to take on major projects, with lower collateralization requirements
The Small Business Administration (SBA) also has loan programs to help exporters that need access to working capital. SBA’s Export Express Loan Program guarantees loans of up to $500,000 to facilitate streamlined financing of export activities. The Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) guarantees facilities of up to $5 million for the fulfillment of export orders from purchase order to collections, featuring quick processing time. Finally, the International Trade Loan Program can help exporters seeking to acquire fixed assets or produce goods for export.
The U.S. Department of Commerce offers trade counseling services to help exporters:
- Craft international business plans
- Navigate legal and regulatory issues
- Understand documentation and product requirements
- Overcome customs-related obstacles
- Verify tariff rates for products
- Leverage the appropriate trade finance support from EXIM and/or SBA
USEACs offer access to free country and industry reports (view the Market Research Library) and customized market research to help exporters better understand the sales potential of their product in a given market, opportunities and threats to consider and characteristics of prospective customers. Finally, background reports and international company profiles are available to analyze the financial health of potential partners.
How Do I Get in Touch with My Local USEAC?
EXIM has 12 regional offices across the United States, most of which are located in USEACs. To get a free export finance consultation, fill out this quick form and your local export finance specialist will be in touch promptly.
EXIM Regional Offices
The Department of Commerce has representatives in nearly 100 additional USEACs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Click here to find the office closest to your location. For a list of USEACs with an SBA representative, click here.