WASHINGTON, April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognized GBC International Bank of Los Angeles as the SBA 2016 Export Lender of the Year, and BanescoUSA, a community bank with headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida as SBA's Export Working Capital Lender of the Year at the 9th Annual SBA Export Lenders' Roundtable, in Washington, D.C.
"Two-thirds of the world's purchasing power can be found outside of the United States, but only about one percent of America's 28 million small businesses are reaching beyond the border," said Contreras-Sweet. "Since I took over at the SBA, we have redoubled our efforts to grow small business exports. And I'm pleased to report that we broke records last year, guaranteeing $1.5 billion in SBA-backed export loans, a 22 percent increase since 2013."
"Thanks to GBC International Bank, a model SBA export lender supporting all three of SBA's core export loans, today we are changing lives and paving the way for countless American small businesses to grow and create good jobs through trade," added Contreras-Sweet. "I am proud to recognize this great partner for the vital work it continues to do for our nation's small business community."
Contreras-Sweet also praised BanescoUSA for filling a critical funding gap that many small exporters have when it comes to working capital. "The world has become an increasingly borderless marketplace, a fact that raises the stakes for every business and every nation that wants to stay competitive. Together, BanescoUSA and the SBA are demonstrating that, with the availability of timely, niche financing, small businesses have what it takes to deliver competitive goods and services anywhere in the world."
GBC International provided $18.3 million in export financing to small business exporters in 2015 using all three SBA export loan programs: Export Express, Export Working Capital, and International Trade Loans.
BanescoUSA provided working capital export loans totaling $13.7 million to small business exporters in 2015 using SBA's Export Working Capital Loan Program. Receiving the award for GBC International Bank were Executive Vice President Annie Pan and Vice President Edward Tang. Ms. Ana Lorenzo, Vice President for Trade Finance Lending, received the award for BanescoUSA.
Last year, SBA guaranteed a record 1,777 loans to small business exporters for $1.45 billion, which supported an estimated $3.3 billion in export sales. Small businesses account for one third of all U.S. export sales.
"Despite these gains, small firms still face the greatest obstacles to internationalizing their businesses, as regulations vary so greatly from one country to the next," added Contreras-Sweet. "This is a key area where SBA is working with public and private sector leaders around the world to open up new opportunities for small businesses to grow and prosper. Bringing these barriers down is more than an economic imperative. It is our best path forward to creating the good local jobs and cross-border business networks that form the basis for a strong, democratic global economy."
The SBA Export Lenders Roundtable was sponsored by the SBA Office of International Trade. The event brings together export lenders and other experts to share best practices and encourage increased export financing to small businesses. This year, it included sessions on SBA's Export Loan Programs results and impact, an economic outlook presentation by the National Association of Manufacturers, export lenders insights on financing transactions to Latin America, and lender best practices and program recommendations.
For more information about SBA's export lending programs, visit www.sba.gov/international.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov
Contact: David Hall (202) 205-6697
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news
Release Number: 16-25
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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration