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SMALL BUSINESS / Jane Applegate

Export Loan Programs

June 16, 1989|Jane Applegate

If strategic partnering is not what you are looking for but you are interested in exploring the export business, you may be surprised at the variety of financing options available.

Many small-business owners are unaware of the many government loan programs available, according to Donald L. Byram, a former international banker with Citibank who now works as an export financing consultant.

The U.S. Export-Import bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration have direct loan programs or loan guarantees, Byram said. The California State World Trade Commission Export Finance Office issues loan guarantees and the Los Angeles City Economic Development Office can make direct loans under what is known as the "L.A. XPort Program."

To qualify for these programs a business must have good credit--but government lenders are generally more tolerant about what they consider "good" than commercial lenders are, Byram said.

For those who use commercial lenders, Byram, who is based in Sherman Oaks, suggests that small-business owners approach smaller banks that may have more flexibility and interest in making export loans.

SBA's Fact Sheet No. 42 outlines options for international trade assistance. It is available through any SBA office. The Export Managers Assn. of California is also a good source of information. It is located at 14549 Victory Blvd., Suite 5, Van Nuys 91411.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration also offers seminars and information on exporting. The Los Angeles District office is at 11777 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles 90049. The Santa Ana branch is located at 116A West 4th St., Suite 1, Santa Ana 92701.

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