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