Congress Approves Funding to Maintain Outreach to Smaller Exporters

Thanks to a concerted effort by many small company exporters, Congress has approved funding to maintain the Small Business Administration’s highly-successful outreach to small exporters.

A Congressional appropriation made in late November will allow SBA to maintain its export finance specialists in more than a dozen U.S. Export Assistance Centers around the nation.

Many export transactions require bank financing. That can be difficult to obtain for small and medium-sized companies. Relatively few banks offer it. And putting the export financing packages together can be complex. To help out, the U.S. Small Business Administration had assigned export finance specialists to a group of federal export assistance centers around the country. These specialists have been crucial in securing bank financing for hundreds of small and medium-sized exporting companies. Since 1998, when the effort began, SBA’s export finance specialists in the USEAC’s have provided the technical know-how to assemble over 5,800 export loans. Those loans facilitated over $4.4 billion in export sales.

The cost of this effort, since 1998, has been $15.4 million, or an average of about $2.6 million a year.

Translation: each dollar of taxpayers’ money that went into the effort yielded almost $300 in export sales! And that figure has been rising. For the past two years, it’s been nearly $1000 in export sales for every dollar that was invested.

These export sales bring jobs. On average, a billion dollars in exports creates 14,000 high-paying American jobs. So this program has likely generated about 60,000 good jobs in our country. Between the taxes paid by the growing exporters and the taxes paid by the holders of those jobs, the program more than pays for itself.

That’s not all, either. SBA personnel in the USEAC’s also do extensive outreach. So far this year, for example, these individuals have visited over 900 banks, training over 2800 lenders, have provided technical assistance to over 7000 small businesses, and have held over 150 trade events drawing in nearly 30,000 small businesses.

Frankly, it would be difficult to match the export promotion performance of the SBA export finance specialists anywhere else in the federal government.

Just how many SBA export finance specialists are there in the USEAC’s? Sixteen. That’s not a misprint. A mere 16 individuals have generated all this activity.

So if the U.S. is serious about addressing its trade deficit with other nations, it is vital to keep these people on the job.

SBEA thanks its many members who called or wrote to their Senators and Representatives in support of funding for this effort. YOU MADE THE DIFFERENCE!

If you were one of those, or if you simply support the idea, now would be a good time to thank your Members of Congress for their backing. You can reach the U.S. Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Ask to be connected with the office of the Senators and the Representative who represent you, and leave a thank-you message.

Or go to “” and “” and click through to your Representative and Senators. Their individual web sites will offer a way for you to leave an e-mail message.

And don’t forget to call on the SBA export finance specialists when you need help in financing your export transactions.