The Export Finance Program is a cooperative effort with state and federal export finance agencies to assist California companies in obtaining export finance and export credit insurance to increase sales internationally. The program focuses on existing finance and insurance programs provided by several key federal and international agencies. Please reference the list below along with some recommended readings.


Small Business Administration (CA centers)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) does not make loans. They work with various lenders who make loans. SBA is in the position to guarantee the lender up to 90% of the loan. SBA has three international loan programs:

  • Export Working Capital Program (EWCP)

EWCP loans are used for transaction financing from purchase order to final collections. EWCP loans also can be used to even out cash flow when exporters have negotiated longer sales terms and cannot carry the resulting receivables with their own working capital. Financing is available for manufacturers, wholesalers, export trading companies and service exporters. EWCP borrowers must meet SBA 7(a) eligibility and size standards (tangible net worth no more than $15 million and have average net income over the past two years no more than $5.0 million) and have been in business for at least one year.


  • Export Express

Export Express helps small businesses develop or expand their export markets. The program provides exporters and lenders a streamlined method to obtain SBA-backed financing for loans and lines of credit up to $500,000. The lenders use their own credit decision process and loan documentation.  SBA provides an expedited eligibility review and provides a response in less than 24 hours, so exporters get access to funds faster.

Export Express Funds may be used for:

  • Standby letters of credit when required as a bid bond, a performance bond or an advance payment guarantee
  • Participation in a foreign trade show that takes place outside the United States
  • Translation of Product literature to use in overseas markets
  • General lines of credit for export purposes
  • Service contracts from buyers located outside the U.S.
  • Transaction specific financing
  • Acquisition, construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or expansion of production facilities or equipment to be used in the United States in the production of goods or services for Export.


  • International Trade Loan (ITL)

ITL offers term loans to businesses that plan to start or continue exporting or that have been adversely affected by competition from imports.  The proceeds of the loan must enable the borrower to be in a better position to compete. Funds may be used for acquisition, construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or expansion of long-term assets and for working capital. The SBA guarantee cannot exceed $4.0 million.


The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im)

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is an independent U.S. government agency, which helps to finance and facilitate the export of U.S. goods and services. Ex-Im Bank’s programs are geared specifically for small business. Ex-Im Bank assists U.S. exporters in meeting officially supported foreign credit competition. Ex-Im Bank assumes risks not commonly assumed by other lenders and exporters. Ex-Im Bank also provides financing to foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services when private lenders refuse to finance those export sales. Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private financial **parties?**


There are four main Ex-Im Bank programs:

  • Global Credit Express

  • Export Working Capital Guarantees

  • Export Credit Insurance

  • Foreign Buyers Loan Guarantees


The Global Credit Express program delivers short-term working capital loans directly to creditworthy small business exporters. Small business exporters may be eligible for a 6- or 12-month revolving line of credit of up to $500,000. Global Credit Express adds liquidity to the U.S. small business export market by financing the business of exporting rather than specific export transactions.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Ex-Im Bank combine their efforts in the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) , which provides working capital to fulfill export sales. With this program, a company can arrange a loan from a commercial lender, guaranteed by either the Ex-Im Bank or the SBA. The EWCP supports export financing to small businesses when financing would not otherwise be available on acceptable terms. The EWCP encourages lenders to offer Export Working Capital loans to exporters by guaranteeing repayment of at least 90 percent of such loans. A loan can support a single transaction or multiple sales on a revolving basis. If you are already working with a bank, you can request that your lender apply to the SBA for a preliminary commitment (PC) or to the Ex-Im Bank for a Letter of Interest. The Letter of Interest will manifest the Ex-Im Bank’s interest in the transaction. The PC from the SBA will state the specified terms and conditions under which the SBA will provide the guarantee. With the preliminary commitment and the Letter of Interest in hand, the exporter may be able to find a bank that is interested in the transaction.

Ex-Im Bank’s Export Credit Insurance protects the credit you extend to buyers by insuring the receivables. The Ex-Im Bank’s short- and medium-term export credit insurance covers the risk of buyer nonpayment for most commercial and political reasons.

Ex-Im Bank’s Foreign Buyers Loan Guarantees assist creditworthy international businesses with purchasing U.S. goods and services by guaranteeing lender repayment. Ex-Im Bank will support up to 85 percent of the contract amount for goods that have at least 51 percent of U.S. content after a cash payment of at least 15 percent.



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