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SBA Puts More Capital, Assistance behind Small Business Exporting

Export-related loans to small businesses approved under the Jobs Act provisions have reached nearly $110 million as of Dec. 31, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced today. 

exports“The Jobs Act builds on the efforts already underway through the National Export Initiative by providing SBA with additional tools to help small businesses tap into the global market,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “We know that to take that next step to begin exporting or expand into a new market a small business often needs both financial and counseling resources.  

“The Jobs Act strengthened SBA’s ability to provide assistance in both those areas by enhancing our export loan programs and also making counseling and technical assistance more accessible. Already, we’re seeing these tools put to use by small businesses that are in a position to grow and create good-paying jobs in their communities.” 

The Jobs Act, signed into law on Sept. 27, raised SBA 7(a) export-related loan limits to $5 million.  SBA helps small business exporters through three different export loan programs: Export Express, Export Working Capital Loan and International Trade Loan.  The Jobs Act greatly enhances the tools the SBA has to help small business exporters grow.  

The Act:

·         Helps provide sufficient capital for small businesses looking to start or expand their exporting efforts, the law increased the maximum size of 7(a) International Trade Loans and Export Working Capital Loans to $5 million, up from $2 million, both with 90 percent guaranties.

·         Makes the agency’s Export Express loan, which offers a streamlined application process, permanent with a 90 percent guaranty for loans up to $350,000 and 75 percent for loans between $350,000 and $500,000.

·         Provides $90 million in grants over three years beginning in mid-2011 for states to help small business owners start or grow their exporting efforts.

·         Makes counseling and technical assistance more accessible by increasing the SBA’s staff and other resources available to small business. 

For a list of current SBA export lenders, visit http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/internationaltrade/lenders/index.html 

President Obama has called for doubling the nation’s exports to support creating two million jobs in the next five years. SBA has taken target steps to strengthen its partnership with other federal agencies involved in international trade, creating new tools to help small businesses both begin exporting and grow their exports, and making loans to exporters more accessible.   

The National Export Initiative also called for the creation of a new Cabinet-level focus on exports, expanding export financing (which in part is fulfilled by the new SBA loan limits,) prioritizing government advocacy on behalf of U.S. exporters, and providing new resources to U.S. businesses seeking to export, among other things. 

For more information on export services for small businesses or to find local counseling and technical assistance resources, please visit www.export.gov.

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