These government agencies can help grow your business internationally
Financing Foreign Projects
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) Small Business Center (SBC) offers direct loans to qualified small businesses with annual revenues less than $35 million. Loans range from $100,000 to $10 million with terms from three to 15 years. Small businesses must own at least 25 percent of the overseas project. OPIC may finance up to 65 percent of the total project costs. Interest rates on the loans are fixed based upon OPIC's cost of funds. To learn how to apply, visit opic.gov/financing/small-business-center.
As part of its National Export Initiative, the Department of Commerce's Trade Information Center offers a series of one-hour webinars on the basics of exporting. The series covers everything from using export data and social networking to financing exports and understanding export controls. These weekly webinars will run through August 10. To see the schedule or check out archived webinars, visit export.gov/articles/eg_main_022213.asp.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers loans, insurance, and grant programs to help entrepreneurs expand. These programs include:
Export Development and Working Capital Loans:
This program assists businesses that lack the liquidity to accept new orders, begin exporting, and infiltrate emerging markets. There is a $250,000 maximum with terms up to 25 years for fixed assets and up to 7 years for working capital.
Facilities Development Financing:
This program provides long-term financing for companies that seek to renovate, build, or improve their stateside facilities used to produce goods or services for overseas exporting. There are options for working capital and/or fixed assets loans.
Financing Your International Buyers: Overseas buyers may not have access to capital to purchase US goods or services. This program enables American companies to help their international buyers find appropriate and available financing so they can work together.
Investment Project Finance:
As a way to stimulate US exports, this program helps American companies invest in emerging markets in up to 150 developing countries. There are direct loans available from $100,000 to $10 million for small business investors.
To learn about all programs offered, visit sba.gov/content/financing-your-small-business-exports-foreign-investments-or-projects.
Export Training Videos
The U.S. Census Bureau has posted how-to export trading videos, all under 15 minutes, that cover everything from shipping to embargoed countries and developing trade agreements. Watch them all, for free, at census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/exporttraining/videos/index.html.
The Export Yellow Pages
Global Publishers LLC and the U.S. Department of Commerce came together in a public-private partnership to create The Export Yellow Pages to help American companies, exporters, and service providers make contacts overseas. The online guide features more than 27,000 companies. To access the pages and learn more about advertising, visit exportyellowpages.com.
AccessAmerica helps US-based firms and economic development agencies to find customers and investors in the People's Republic of China. This directory gives US companies and economic development agencies access and exposure to Chinese clients who are seeking US expertise in accounting, branding, banking, consulting, event planning, global logistics, trade finance, insurance, legal, regulatory, site selection, travel, and other areas of opportunity. Companies can visit buyusa.gov/china/en/access_america.html to learn more about listing their services.
Lindsay Tigar is the Editorial Assistant at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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