Trade Specialists at 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) can help small businesses navigate sources of U.S. government export financing programs. The most significant financing assistance programs include the following:
The “International Finance” section of the U.S. Government's web portal “Export.gov” provides a broad overview of U.S. Government export financing programs, including those that can provide working capital, export insurance, and federal grant resources. In addition, the International Trade Administration's Office of Finance offers a wealth of services for exporters, including assistance with financing overseas activities, locating sources of finance, and counseling on trade and project finance issues. For more information, call (202) 482-3277, or visit the following website: http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/finance.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan guarantees through their Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) to help small U.S. businesses export. The program encourages lenders to offer export working capital loans by guaranteeing repayment of up to $1.5 million or 90 percent of a loan amount, whichever is less. Loans can support a single transaction or multiple sales on a revolving basis. Exporters may use this program for pre-export financing of labor and materials, financing receivables generated from these sales, and/or standby letters of credit used as bid bonds, performance bonds, or payment guarantees to foreign buyers.
The SBA Office of International Trade website at http://www.sba.gov/oit/ provides additional information on export financing and other SBA programs such as International Trade Loans and ExportExpress. A list of commercial banks participating in SBA export finance programs is also available. To access this information from the Office of International Trade’s main page, click on “Export Finance.”
Contact an SBA office for further information on the EWCP and other SBA programs. To locate the SBA office nearest you, call 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722), search the SBA website at http://www.sba.gov/.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) offers several different programs that are designed to meet the diverse needs of exporters and their businesses. For information about these, visit the Ex-Im Bank website at http://www.exim.gov and click on “Products and Policies.”
The Ex-Im Bank offers a Working Capital Guarantee that can be used to 1) purchase raw material and finished products for export; 2) pay for materials, equipment, supplies, labor, and overhead to produce goods and/or provide services for export; 3) cover standby letters of credit serving as bid bonds, performance bonds, or payment guarantees; and 4) finance foreign receivables. There is no minimum or maximum transaction amount, and Ex-Im Bank will guarantee 90% of an eligible bank loan.
The Ex-Im Bank also has an Export Credit Insurance Program to protect against both the political and commercial risks of a foreign buyer defaulting on payment. In addition, Ex-Im Loan Guarantees can be obtained on commercial loans to foreign buyers of U.S. goods or services to cover 100 percent of principal and interest against both political and commercial risks of nonpayment. In some cases, Ex-Im also offers direct loans to foreign buyers with competitive, fixed-rate financing for their purchases from the United States.
For more information on Export-Import Bank programs, visit the Ex-Im Bank website at http://www.exim.gov or call their export finance hotline at 1-800-565-3946.
OPIC finances the investment portion of an overseas transaction for U.S. businesses interested in a long-term investment in developing markets including equity, debt (institutional, inter-company, and private), management agreements, and technical assistance. OPIC offers direct loans, guarantees, and can also provide political risk insurance to small businesses interested in safeguarding overseas investments in developing markets. More information about OPIC’s services can be found by referring to OPIC’s website at http://www.opic.gov.
Many state governments provide export financing through their international trade offices.
The Private Export Funding Company (PEFCO) is a private corporation owned by commercial banks, industrial corporations, and financial services companies. It was established with the support of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Ex-Im Bank. PEFCO supplements existing Ex-Im, SBA, and private programs for export financing. Its programs cover short, medium, and long-term financing and include services such as acting as a buyer of working capital loans, loans financing export receivables, and notes with floating and fixed interest rates. For more information, visit the PEFCO website at http://www.pefco.com or call (212) 916-0300.
For further assistance, please contact the Trade Information Center:
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723)
Fax: (202) 482-4473