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June 24, 2016

EXIM Bank partnership to boost local, state economies

By Councilmember Nora Ellen

The City of Chandler has long understood that a strong export economy is a critical component to the foundation of our local robust business economy. With that in mind, the City Council unanimously approved an exciting new venture at its June 23 meeting. This Council Resolution allows Chandler to formally partner with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). This move essentially empowers our local businesses to increase export sales and compete in the global marketplace. This will also add jobs as sales revenues increase.

Chandler is the first community in Arizona to participate in the program, joining a roster of organizations representing states throughout the country. The program basically allows for EXIM’s export finance products to be more accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses by working hand-in-hand with local, state, and regional economic development organizations.

EXIM offers a number of financial vehicles for small businesses that include export credit insurance, working capital, direct loans and loan guarantees as well as project and structured finance arrangements. These resources are a great asset for businesses looking to start exporting or expand into new markets.

For its part, Chandler will help to market this resource through free training materials, arranging for qualified finance experts to speak at events, assistance with outreach and counseling and access to a network of lenders, insurance brokers and U.S. Government export resources.

Local businesses are excited about the program.

"Having access to export financing is critical for any company that wants to compete for global sales," said Ed Hines, Chief Financial Officer at Aero-Zone in Chandler. "Our company established a presence in Europe to give us additional access to international markets.  Aero-Zone was able to grow its international customer base at a much higher pace with the help of EXIM's export credit insurance. It was affordable, easy to use and provides protection against the risk of nonpayment, which gave us the confidence to take on new customers in new markets."

By taking this first step to aid local businesses to be globally prepared, the hope is the City will become the location of choice for like-minded companies.  Surveys of small- and medium-size firms in the region back that up. According to the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance, only four percent of businesses are exporting, and a lack of financing is one of the key reasons.

Our alliance with EXIM is just one component of a broader export assistance program currently being launched by the City. There is more to come, so stay tuned! And if you would like more information on our EXIM products and services through the Regional Export Promotion Program, contact the City of Chandler Economic Development Division at 480-782-3030.

Becoming a world class economy has long been the focus of this and past City Councils, and this move propels us toward not only achieving, but also sustaining that standard. Our goal is to facilitate local exporting through access to the many resources and expertise vital to allow companies to enter into global markets. If we do not adjust to the new reality that we live in a global marketplace, we will be left behind.