AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Small Business Development Center (Iowa SBDC) today announced a new partnership that will help Iowa small- and medium-sized businesses boost export sales and jobs. Iowa SBDC’s partnership with Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)’s City/State Partnership is the first of its kind in the state of Iowa. It will give exporters enhanced access to information about Ex-Im Bank’s resources to exporters in all 99 Iowa counties.
The partnership is expected to accelerate export business and job growth by promoting Bank products and services within the Iowa SBDC’s statewide network of 15 regional centers and an International Trade Center (ITC), where entrepreneurs meet export finance counselors and learn how to grow their foreign sales. The Iowa SBDC network is sponsored by Iowa State University’s College of Business, Ames, in cooperation with 13 other regional colleges and universities. It is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Ex-Im Bank has a lot to offer Iowa businesses that want to reach customers overseas and grow their export sales, and this partnership will put Ex-Im’s financing benefits within easy reach,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Owners of small and medium-size businesses already use Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center; now they will find Ex-Im Bank resources in the same place. This new connection will support increased sales and job growth in Iowa.”
Ex-Im Bank’s City/State Partnership with international trade educators and business experts in Iowa aims to build upon existing successes there. The SBDC’s International Trade Center provides expertise about how export businesses start, grow, and gain profits. By means of inexpensive workshops, free one-on-one counseling and online courses, it equips small businesses with marketing savvy otherwise accessible only to large companies.
“The Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center is committed to helping Iowa’s small- and medium-sized businesses gain access to capital for expanding to markets outside the U.S.,” said Debbie Franklin, ITC director. “This partnership with Ex-Im Bank will help provide these businesses the additional support needed to export globally.”
The purpose of Ex-Im Bank’s City/State Partners program is to ensure that the Bank’s export finance programs are more accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses through local, state, and regional economic development and business support organizations. Ex-Im Bank provides its Partners with free marketing and training materials, qualified finance experts to speak at Partners’ events, assistance with outreach and counseling, and access to a network of lenders, insurance brokers, and U.S. Government export resources.
Through its City/State Partnership with the Iowa Small Business Development Center, Ex-Im Bank offers to Iowa enterprises expanded access to products such as its Global Credit Express, which helps exporters acquire low-cost working capital up to $500,000, as well as Express Insurance, which simplifies small business access to export credit risk insurance on their foreign accounts receivable.
To contact Iowa SBDC’s International Trade Center, call director Debbie Franklin at (515) 509-5745, email her at DebbieF@iastate.edu, or visit the International Trade Center web page at www.iowasbdc.org/exports.aspx.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.
ABOUT IOWA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The Iowa Small Business Development Center is an outreach program of Iowa State University's College of Business. Partially funded by the U. S. Small Business Administration, the organization has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state and one international trade center located centrally. Since program inception in 1981, the Center has helped hundreds of thousands of Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through free, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training.
For more information on Iowa Small Business Development Center programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org.