U.S. Small Business Administration Announces 2023 Export Lender Award Winners
Top lenders committed to increasing access to capital for small businesses entering the global marketplace
Today Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), announced its 2023 Export Lender of the Year Award winners for their efforts to increase access to capital for U.S. small businesses by providing international trade financing. This year, the SBA’s Office of International Trade selected Regions Bank and Amerant Bank as the 2023 Export Lenders of the Year, and Berkshire Bank as the 2023 International Trade Lender of the Year.
The Export Lender of the Year Awards recognize excellence in export financing. These awards highlight the accomplishments of lenders in delivering SBA’s international finance programs to small businesses, designed to help small businesses develop new markets, finance export transactions, and expand capacity to meet overseas demand.
Regions Bank – Export Lender of the Year
Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Regions Bank has been the top Export Working Capital Lender by total dollar value for the past four years. In 2022, Regions Bank provided more than $36 million in financing support to small business exporters through its use of the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) and International Trade Loan programs. With the addition of its new loans in 2022, Regions Bank maintained the largest active EWCP portfolio nationally. This is Regions Bank’s second Export Lender of the Year selection as the institution was also recognized with the award in 2019.
Amerant Bank – Export Lender of the Year
Amerant Bank is headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, with operations throughout South Florida and Houston, Texas. With a growing SBA department, Amerant Bank placed the export loan programs as a central part of their strategy with export loans accounting for more than half of their commitments. In 2022, Amerant Bank provided more than $20 million in financing support to small business exporters through their use of the EWCP and Export Express programs. With strong growth under the EWCP program, Amerant applied for delegated authority in 2023.
Berkshire Bank – International Trade Loan (ITL) Lender of the Year
Based in Boston, Berkshire Bank provided $15 million in financing support to small business exporters through their use of SBA’s International Trade Loan Program, one of SBA’s core export loan programs. For the past several years, Berkshire Bank has been an active user of SBA’s domestic and export loan programs and approved 193 SBA loans totaling $200 million in 2022. This is Berkshire Bank’s second Export Lender award as the institution was recognized as an Export Lender of the Year in 2019.
U.S. exports are important to the nation’s economy, with 97.4% of all exporters being small businesses. During the fiscal year 2022, the SBA guaranteed $423 million in financing to small business exporters, which supported over $1.6 billion in export sales.
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