of the greatest challenges facing U.S. small businesses in the new global
economy is finding acceptable financing options for their business. As the Bush Administration works to open
more markets for U.S. small businesses, we are also working to increase access
to capital to insure small business success abroad.
The primary source of
small business loans in the federal government is the U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA). SBA has many
programs designed to assist the U.S. small business exporter find the capital
they need to succeed in foreign markets.
Three programs of special
note are the Export Express, Export Working Capital, and International Trade
Loan Programs. Each has its own
distinct offerings described briefly below.
Export Express can be
used for participation in a foreign trade shows, translation of product
brochures in overseas markets, general lines of credit for exporting, service
contracts from buyers located outside the United States, transaction specific
needs for completing export orders, and the purchase of real estate and
equipment used in the production of exports.
The Export Working
Capital Program offers pre-export financing of labor and materials through
financing the receivables generated from their sale (and/or) the standby letters
of credit used as performance bonds or payment guarantees.
The International Trade
Loan program assists small businesses in financing machinery and equipment,
financing real estate, and can be used to improve their competitive position if
they have been affected by import competition.
All three of these
programs provide loan guarantees to the financing bank. Each has different qualifications, time
periods, and guarantee percentages.
For more information
please visit www.sba.gov or consult your local
U.S. Export Assistance Center.