The Export-Import Bank of the United States has started a partnership with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center International Trade Center with the goal of boosting the workforce by stimulating exports.
Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg said that the partnership will help businesses in the state thrive.
"The partnership will bring foreign markets within reach of Tennessee businesses and support thousands of local small business jobs," he said in a prepared statement.
The Tennessee Development Center program is headquartered at Middle Tennessee State University and has 20 locations across the state—14 service centers, five satellite offices and one affiliate office.
In Chattanooga, the Business Development Center is on the North Shore at 100 Cherokee Blvd. Locally, the center acts as a small business incubator, providing low-cost rent to startups.
The Small Business Development Center Program is designed to provide high-quality business and economic developmental assistance to small businesses and promote growth, innovation and improved management skills.
The partnership is part of the City/State Partners Program, which aims to expand access to the bank's export finance programs to more small and medium-sized businesses through support from local, state and regional economic development business organizations.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to taxpayers.
In the 2012 fiscal year, Ex-Im Bank approved $35.8 billion in total authorizations, which is a record.
This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small business export sales—also an Ex-Im record.
Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country.
For more information, visit www.exim.gov.