October 24, 2014

Ex-Im Bank Links With Development Authority Of The North Country To Boost Regional Exports

New Partnership Comes After Ex-Im Bank Roundtable Convened in April by Gillibrand and Owens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Congressman Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and the Development Authority of the North Country announced that Ex-Im Bank has joined forces with the Development Authority in order to help local businesses boost export sales and jobs.

In April 2014, Senator Gillibrand, who is a member of the President’s Export Council, and Owens hosted a roundtable conversation in Ogdensburg between Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg and local businesses and economic development leaders. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss ways that Ex-Im Bank could promote North Country businesses’ exporting potential, including the development of a City/State Partnership.

Ex-Im Bank's City/State Partnership will afford North Country companies, especially small businesses, with marketing and training materials, 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.

"Ex-Im Bank has a lot to offer North County businesses that want to grow their exports and add local jobs, and this initiative will put Ex-Im's financing benefits on display for them," said Hochberg. "Exporters can learn about how Ex-Im can help them insure their shipments, ensure they have the capital needed to meet export demands, and other cost-effective tools the Bank can provide to help businesses increase their sales and create jobs here at home.”

“This new partnership between Ex-Im Bank and the Development Authority of the North Country is exactly the kind of program that will help keep New York competitive in our global economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The City/State Partners program is a model for federal-local partnerships across the country, and there is no better place to demonstrate its usefulness than in New York’s North Country, home to hundreds of small businesses that have tremendous potential to expand their companies through increased exporting.”

“Buyers across the northern border and around the world want the products our local companies are already making and selling right here in Northern New York,” said Representative Owens. “This new partnership builds on the efforts of many in our region to join local companies with the Export-Import Bank where they can get the financial and support services they need to connect to new markets, grow their businesses, and create new jobs. This is great news for the region’s economy and for businesses throughout Northern New York.”

The North Country’s Regional Economic Development Council envisions a greater focus on exports from the region. Regionally, the Development Authority will be working with the North Country Chamber of Commerce, Plattsburgh, and CITEC, Potsdam, to spread the word about Ex-Im Bank’s programs and services.

“This is good news not only for the Authority, but for the North Country region.  This will be another tool to assist local businesses and economic development professionals to increase exports from the region,” said James W. Wright, the Chief Executive Officer for the Development Authority of the North Country.

"The North Country is a very international region, with a great many businesses engaged in exporting and many more who may have opportunities to grow their operations through exporting," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. "We and a number of partner organizations across the region are collaborating on how to expand export activity in the North Country, and this new relationship with the Export-Import Bank will allow us to maximize access to the valuable programs and services of the bank to help us achieve this aim. We thank Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Owens for bringing this opportunity to our attention and then helping us to obtain approval, and we thank our partners at DANC for taking the lead role on behalf of our region. Onward and upward for exporting in the North Country." 

“The North Country is an international gateway for New York and the linchpin between Canada and the U.S., between New York and Quebec and Ontario, and between North America and the rest of the world,” said Tony Collins, Clarkson University President and co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.  “In addition to leveraging public-private investments in the transportation and distribution networks across the region, the Ex-Im Bank and DANC partnership is an example of how we are working with our federal partners to bring training and assistance to achieve success in exports and small business growth.” 

"Exporting can be an opportunity for our region's manufacturers but still daunting for the small- and medium-sized firms we work with. It becomes a lot less so when you have the resources of Ex-Im Bank available," noted William Murray, executive director of CITEC, which is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership center serving the seven northern New York county region. "CITEC has worked with a variety of small manufacturers on export strategy development and readiness over the years and the Ex-Im programs are a great source of support toward the growth of those companies," Murray said. "We have absolutely seen the Ex-Im programs enable our North Country companies to grow by opening up opportunities to pursue new markets overseas." 

Companies, as well as local and business community officials, that are interested in learning more about how to take advantage of the City/State Partnership’s assistance can contact Michelle Capone at the Development Authority of the North Country at (315) 661-3200 or Ex-Im Bank's New York Regional Office at (212) 809-2650.

ABOUT EX-IM BANK:

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains 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 and export credit insurance, to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad. Ninety percent of its transactions directly serve American small businesses.

These authorizations supported an estimated $37.4 billion in U.S. export sales, as well as approximately 205,000 American jobs in communities across the country, in FY 2013. Small business exporters can learn about how Ex-Im Bank products can help them increase foreign sales at http://go.usa.gov/ZVTd. For more information about Ex-Im, visit www.exim.gov.