What Small Business Owners Should Know About the Export-Import Bank

There are many complex policy issues that have a major impact on the small business community. Each week, we’re going to help break one of those issues down so small business owners can stay in the know and remain aware of their stake in these national issues. This week’s Issue Q&A is on the United States Export-Import Bank.

Q: What is the Ex-Im Bank?

A: The U.S. Export-Import Bank is an independent, self-sustaining agency that has been financing the export of American goods and services for more than 80 years.

Q: Why does the Ex-Im Bank matter to small businesses?

A: The Ex-Im Bank finances a large amount of exports from small businesses, helping them turn international opportunities into real sales. The bank gives small businesses in the United States an edge and helps level the playing field by filling in the gaps offered by traditional financing, and by partnering with private sector lenders to provide direct loans, guarantees and credit insurance to aid foreign purchasers in buying American-made goods.

Q: How much of the Ex-Im Bank’s business is small business oriented?

A: In 2013, 89% of the bank’s transactions were for small businesses, and over the past five years it has supported 1.2 million American jobs and generated $2 billion for U.S. taxpayers without costing them a dime.

Q: Why do I need to know about the Ex-Im Bank now?

A: There’s a push in Congress to defund the Ex-Im Bank, which could have far reaching negative effects on the small business sector. The reauthorization of the bank is crucial to small businesses that deal with exporting goods and services, and lawmakers need to know why the bank is important to small business success.

Q: Where can I learn more about reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank?

A: Small Business Majority recently launched a new website asking small business owners to share their experience with the Ex-Im Bank so we can send real small business testimonials to lawmakers in Congress in efforts to help get the bank reauthorized. To learn more about the Ex-Im Bank and to share your experiences, visit our Ex-Im Thought Bank website here.