MENTOR, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today joined Fred Hochberg, chairman of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to host an exports forum at the STERIS Corporation in Mentor. Brown and Hochberg’s forum included industry and government experts who provided more than 100 Ohio business leaders and owners with the detailed knowledge they need to maximize their export opportunities and increase sales.
“It’s simple. Exports help create more jobs in Ohio,” Brown said. “An aggressive American export strategy is key to our recovery, and will produce both short and long-term benefits in Ohio and throughout the country. That’s why strengthening efforts to connect small businesses with opportunities to sell their products and services abroad is so important—and that’s exactly what today’s forum is designed to do. I stand ready to help Ohio’s companies grow their exports and add jobs, and encourage small business owners to contact my office for more information on the federal resources available to them.”
“Global Access for Small Business is not just a brand, it’s a mindset for us at Ex-Im Bank,” explained Chairman Hochberg. “It is the Bank’s top priority to dramatically increase the number of small businesses exporting goods and services to support the U.S. economy and create more jobs. We want to secure financial support for these businesses so they can sell to more countries and expand sales into existing ones.”
At today’s forum, which will run until 12:30 PM, leaders from Northeast Ohio companies including Rad-Con and Superior Holdings, LLC will moderate a panel discussion on how they successfully grew their businesses through increased exports. Officials from the Lake County Port Authority, the Ohio Department of Development, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Office of Trade Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture will also conduct a panel on how the federal government, in combination with state offices, can help small business owners expand their export opportunities.
As Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, Brown has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing. He also serves as a member of the President’s Export Council, working to advance the National Export Initiative (NEI) and reach President Barack Obama’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years. Since 2009, Brown's office has held more than two dozen small business forums, helping to connect more than 2,500 Ohioans to federal resources that help small businesses.
Fred Hochberg has served as President and Chairman of the Ex-Im Bank since May 2009. Under his leadership, in FY2010 the Ex-Im Bank approved more authorizations to support U.S. exporters than any year in its history. This included $24.5 billion in export financing, which supported $34.4 billion worth of exports and 227,000 American jobs at more than 3,300 U.S. companies. Of these authorizations, more than $5 billion was for small businesses—a record for the Bank.
The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services. By charging fees and interest on all loan-related transactions, Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining and is able to cover all operation costs and potential losses while also producing revenue.