FROM: U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK
Ex-Im Bank Supports Veteran-Owned Businesses as they Export Products Abroad and Support Jobs at Home
Washington, D.C. – As Veterans Day approaches, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. remains proud to support veterans across all of the branches who continue to serve the nation by exporting quality, made-in-America goods and services abroad, while creating more jobs in local communities across the country.
“Veterans Day—as well as the Marines’ birthday on November 10th—affords us a wonderful opportunity to thank our veterans for their service, and to reaffirm our support for veteran-owned businesses as they seek out opportunities in the global marketplace,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Those who bravely served our country, and returned home to start and run businesses, deserve to have reliable support standing behind them as they sell quality products and promote American economic leadership overseas—and Ex-Im Bank is proud to be a part of that support for countless veteran-owned businesses.”
The following veteran-owned small business success stories underscore the commitment the Bank has made to ensuring that those who sacrificed for this country are supported in turn. Ex-Im equips these businesses with the financing support needed to grow, win sales in global markets, and create good-paying American jobs.
Jeco Plastic Products, headquartered in Plainfield, Ind., sells custom high-tolerance pallets to customers abroad.
Jeco opened for business in 1973, but it did not start exporting until joining forces with Ex-Im Bank in 1999. Since then, Jeco has shipped products to Germany, Austria, Japan, Mexico, and Canada, among others. The export growth, in turn, has led to the creation of 23 jobs and could very well lead to the creation of 27 more over the next two years. Approximately 65 percent of company sales are export related.
“Jeco has grown 300 percent since we started using Ex-Im Bank so we could offer open account terms to overseas customers,” said Craig Carson, owner and CEO of Jeco. “We anticipate an additional 300 percent growth from our existing base if we continue to have Ex-Im Bank support. We have routinely displaced low-cost alternatives from competitors in China on the basis of technology and kept the production base in the U.S. We could not have done this without Ex-Im Bank, and probably would not have survived the downturn in 2008 and 2009.”
Carson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1968 and commanded an airborne infantry company in Vietnam.
Energy International Corporation (EIC), based in Canton, Mich., exports a variety of products that includes HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) electromechanical components, cooling towers, fire and smoke curtains, fire dampers, and industrial plumbing.
The company was founded in 1979 by Dr. Nassib Fawaz, a U.S. Army veteran, to meet a need for HVAC and electromechanical components for construction projects in the Middle East. Today the company employs 170 people, 18 of whom work in the company’s Canton office.
Since it started using Ex-Im Bank products in 1985, EIC has transacted more than $100 million in business over the years. Total revenue in 2013 amounted to nearly $15.7 million, and exports accounted for all of it.
“Plain and simple, without Ex-Im Bank we would not have been able to finance our export receivables,” said Fawaz. “Our sales have expanded by more than 100 percent since receiving Ex-Im Bank support.”
Surface Armor, a small business based in Rockwall, Texas, exports temporary surface protection films and tapes.
Founded in 2005 by a service disabled veteran who had served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force, the company now employs eight people. Since taking advantage of Ex-Im Bank financing in 2014, the company, which previously exported to Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Europe, has expanded its export reach to China. Due to Ex-Im Bank’s support, annual sales have grown by more than $100,000.
“Without credit insurance coverage from Ex-Im Bank, we would not have been able to provide credit terms to customers in China and would not gotten that business,” said Rick Pietrykowski, owner of Surface Armor. “Previously we could not offer foreign buyers favorable credit terms.”