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U.S. small business exporters get a boost from top lenders


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized outstanding lenders for their commitment to empowering small businesses in international trade.

Isabel Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator, announced the 2024 Export Lender of the Year Award winners. Fulton Bank and First American Bank were named the 2024 Export Lenders of the Year, while Lake Michigan Credit Union received the 2024 International Trade Lender of the Year Award.

“SBA’s export financing programs help small businesses compete globally,” said Administrator Guzman. “These award winners are crucial partners, providing the resources businesses need to succeed in the international marketplace.”

Daniel Krupnick, Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of International Trade, emphasized the importance of access to capital for exporters. “Export financing bridges the trade finance gap, enabling small businesses to seize international opportunities,” he said, congratulating the award winners.

The awards recognize excellence in delivering SBA’s international finance programs. These programs assist small businesses in developing new markets, financing export transactions, and expanding capacity to meet overseas demand. Over 97% of U.S. exporters are small businesses, playing a vital role in the nation’s economy. In fiscal year 2023, the SBA guaranteed $495 million in financing to small business exporters, supporting over $1.3 billion in export sales.

2024 Export Lenders of the Year

Fulton Bank: This Pennsylvania-based community bank offers a comprehensive range of export financing solutions, including the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP).

First American Bank: An Illinois-chartered bank, First American has a longstanding commitment to trade finance and a robust export loan portfolio.

2024 International Trade Lender of the Year

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU): Based in Michigan, LMCU is a leading SBA lender supporting small businesses, including exporters. In 2023, they were the top International Trade Lender by count.

The award winners expressed pride in their recognition and dedication to supporting small businesses. They highlighted their commitment to providing expert advice and tailored solutions to help businesses navigate the global market and achieve success.

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