WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today honored BB&T and First American Bank as the 2017 SBA Export Lenders of the Year, respectively for large and small lending institutions during a ceremony at the 10th annual SBA Export Lender Roundtable in Washington, D.C. During the event, World Trade Finance Inc. was recognized as SBA’s Export Working Capital Champion, for providing international trade financing to small businesses since 1997.
BB&T Senior Vice President William Browning, and First American Bank Vice President Alan Lane-Murcia received the awards on behalf of their respective institutions. World Trade Finance founder and former President Bernd Hermann, and co-founder/Managing Director Irene Kuo received the Export Working Capital Champion award.
“American small business exporters need capital to access overseas markets, fund their export sales, and expand local operations. BB&T, First American Bank and World Trade Finance have been invaluable partners toward this end,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “I want to congratulate and thank these lenders for helping small business exporters expand, create high-wage jobs for American workers and advance small business innovation.”
U.S. exports are important to the nation’s economy, and 98 percent of all exporters are small businesses. SBA export lenders play a pivotal role in helping small business exporters to compete and succeed in the global market. During fiscal year 2016, the SBA reported a record $1.53 billion in financing to small business exporters.
Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the United States., operating 2,196 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C. In fiscal year 2016, BB&T made a strong commitment to ensure that its small business exporters had access to financing. As a result, BB&T recorded remarkable growth in SBA export financing, moving from $7 million of Export Working Capital Loans in fiscal year 2015 to $30.6 million in fiscal year 2016.
First American Bank is an Illinois-chartered, privately-held, full-service bank with 50 locations in Illinois and Florida, and more than $3.4 billion in assets. First American uses all three of the SBA’s core export loans, which has resulted in a significant increase in their support for small business exporters in fiscal year 2016, going from $8.9 million in fiscal year 2015 to $13.2 million in fiscal year 2016.
World Trade Finance, Inc., is a California-chartered, privately-held lender that is now a subsidiary of ExWorks Capital, LLC, with offices located nationwide. Since 1990, World Trade Finance has delivered boutique trade finance solutions to underserved U.S. exporters and qualified international buyers, providing more than $250 million of financing to small businesses and supporting over $750 million of U.S. exports. An early champion of the SBA’s Export Working Capital Loan program, World Trade Finance since 1997 has made 162 of these loans for a total of $116 million, which supported more than $300 million in exports.
The SBA Export Lenders Roundtable is an annual event sponsored by the SBA’s Office of International Trade. At this event, lenders, trade financiers and trade industry professionals have an opportunity to meet and learn about the SBA’s International Trade Finance Programs, which are designed to help small businesses develop new markets, finance export transactions, and expand production capacity to meet overseas demand.
For more information about the SBA’s export lending programs, visit www.sba.gov/international.