The Small Business Jobs Act, signed into law Sept. 27, has stepped up the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s ability to help small business exporters by providing higher loan limits, the agency announced. So far, the SBA has made nearly $110 million in export-related loans to small businesses as of Dec. 31.
The act raised SBA 7(a ) export-related loan limits to $5 million. The SBA helps small business exporters through three different export loan programs: Export Express, Export Working Capital Loan and International Trade Loan.
Small- and medium-size companies that have less than 500 U.S. employees play a significant role in U.S. exports, generating $65 billion in exports annually (13 percent of total U.S. exports), according to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The key barrier to greater export activity in this sector is access to capital, the ITC said in a recent report.
“The Jobs Act builds on the efforts already under way through the National Export initiative by providing SBA with additional tools to help small businesses tap into the global market,” said Karen Mills, the SBA administrator. “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.”
President Barack Obama has called for doubling the nation’s exports to support creating two million jobs in the next five years. The SBA said it 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.
“I think the Obama administration has been quite shrewd in focusing on this area,” Marianne Rowden, president and CEO of the American Association of Exporters and Importers, told BusinessNewsDaily. “I think that the dollars will grease the wheels.”
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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.