Today, more than 100 local small business owners learned how to increase sales through exporting at a Global Access for Small Business forum at the Hawaii Convention Center. The event, which was hosted by Senator Daniel Akaka and Export-Import Bank Director Patricia M. Loui, focused on how U.S. companies can gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
"In the crossroads of the Pacific, Hawaii is uniquely positioned for global trade," said Senator Akaka, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. "I organized this forum to help Hawaii businesses learn about the government services and products available to help grow their businesses. I want to thank Pat Loui and her colleagues at the Export-Import Bank for sharing their valuable experience in increasing exports and competing in the global market."
"With 95 percent of the world's customers outside the United States, it is critical that we provide our nation's business owners with the resources they need to compete globally," said Director Loui. "Increasing exports is vital to our economic recovery, and I hope that after today's forum more small-and-medium sized business owners will consider exporting."
During the forum, Director Loui gave an overview of Ex-Im Bank's Small Business Initiative. The initiative was launched in 2011 with the goal of increasing the number of U.S. small businesses that export American-made goods and services. This is an integral part of President Obama?s National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by 2015.
The forum featured panel discussions with local business owners who have successfully exported and presentations by regional representatives of federal agencies, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Commerce. Hawaiian small business owners also received one-on-one trade counseling with Export-Import Bank experts. Small business owners who are interested in learning more about Ex-Im financing can call Ex-Im Bank Western Regional Director David Josephson at 949-660-0726 for more information.
About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 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.
Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.