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I fully agree that small companies need all the help they can get to compete in the international marketplace ("Small-business exporters get a boost from Bill," Washington Outlook, Sept. 9). The Export-Import Bank is pleased to be working with White House adviser Ira Magaziner to promote small-business exports.

For the past three years, Ex-Im Bank and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been working jointly and through the Administration's Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. Export Assistance Centers have been opened across the country, where small businesses can access the services of all trade-related federal agencies.

At Ex-Im Bank, 80% of our transactions support small companies. Nearly 21% of the bank's authorizations in fiscal 1995 was for small business. Our guarantees of working capital loans for small and midsize companies hit record highs last year. And they are up by a third for the first half of this year.

Ex-Im and SBA harmonized our working capital guarantee programs, which now use the same application form. We are delighted with our success so far in bringing many more small companies into the global trade arena.

Maria L. Haley


Export-Import Bank

WashingtonReturn to top


A recent article discussed the convictions in Massachusetts of two officers of Kurzweil Applied Intelligence Inc. for fraud ("Anatomy of a fraud," Finance, Sept. 16). In the artwork accompanying that article, there is a reference to David Earl, another officer, and to the fact that he was indicted as well. Unfortunately, the article did not reflect that Mr. Earl was acquitted on all charges. In essence, the jury found that Mr. Earl had not done anything improper.

Just as important, I would point out that even under the government's indictment, there were never any allegations that Earl personally profited from any of the events transpiring at the company, nor that he ever forged any document or knew of such forgeries.

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the record to reflect Mr. Earl's innocence in this matter.

Evan Slavitt

Hinckley, Allen & Snyder

BostonReturn to top


It is unfortunate that BUSINESS WEEK packaged an essentially balanced story under a misleading headline, "A warehouse full of woes at Fleming" (The Corporation, Sept. 23), and chose not to include several important steps that Fleming Cos. has taken to succeed.

For example, many of the retail customers using our new marketing program are seeing dramatic, positive results. The article implies that few retailers are embracing the program and that we have stopped all reengineering efforts, which is simply not true.

This year, we have made improvements to our marketing plan and support systems and realigned our operations. Our company has made great strides in reengineering. These efforts are helping improve the quality and efficiency of food marketing and distribution for customers across the country.

Transforming our company is a work in progress, and it goes far beyond most familiar definitions of reengineering. I am confident our team at Fleming is up to the challenge.

Robert E. Stauth

Chairman and CEO

Fleming Cos.

Oklahoma CityReturn to top

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