• Export Finance Resources in the San Francisco Bay Area

Become familiar with the various government programs designed to help your company finance its export transactions, and give it the capital to carry out its export operations.

We recommend that you review this information and then contact your local Commercial Service Trade Specialists to discuss how these programs can help you achieve your international sales goals.

Financing

Do you need working capital loans? Does your foreign buyer need financing to buy your products? Do they prefer lease financing? Check out the U.S. Government International Financing Programs.

Insurance

The U.S. Government offers U.S. companies Insurance and Risk Mitigation policies that cover export transactions and for overseas investments. Coverage includes losses for non-payment, currency inconvertibility, asset expropriation and political violence.

Grants

The U.S. Government provides grants to U.S. firms to conduct feasibility studies on infrastructure projects and to train the foreign business community and government officials on U.S. business practices, regulatory reform and other economic development activities.

For more information regarding financing, contact:

Export-Import Bank


USEAC 50 Fremont Street Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: (415) 705-2285
Fax: (415) 705-1156
Web: Visit Us

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Jeff Deiss

Regional Manager, Exporting Solutions Group

Territories: Northern California – Bakersfield to the Oregon border, Hawaii and Guam

Office of International Trade, SBA

50 Fremont St., Ste. 2450

San Francisco, CA 94105

Tel: 415-744-7730

Fax: 202—292-3534

Email: jeff.deiss@sba.gov

Website: SBA – SF Office

  • Export Insights from the Small Business Administration (SBA)

International Tourism – The Overlooked Export Category

Foreign tourists are foreign buyers too.

When you hear the word “exporting,” the first image that probably comes to mind is a freighter stacked high with containers steaming out of a US port, not a busload of Asian visitors disembarking at a National Park on a tourist junket.  But international tourism is a huge component of exporting – with the foreign buyer in this case arriving in person to pick up the recreational service directly from the US business.  It’s exporting without any significant worries about shipment or payment risk.

In fact, travel and tourism is one of America’s most important services exports, accounting for 27% of all services exports, 8% of US exports overall, and generating a net trade surplus of $57 billion in 2013.  The US leads the world in tourism exports and is #2 worldwide in annual international visitors. 

Increasing Tourism to Spur Economic Growth is a key national export strategy, and SBA export loan guarantees recognize this critical export sector as an eligible “exporter” category.  Recreational businesses that cater to foreign tourists are eligible for SBA export loans, such as the 90% guarantee International Trade Loan (ITL).  The international tourist business simply needs an export plan (with a 12-month foreign tourist revenue target, an explanation of how it will be achieved, and a discussion of how the ITL loan will support the plan’s success).    With this documented in your loan file, an ITL becomes a valuable tool to increase international tourism and spur economic growth.

How Do I Request An International Trade Loan via E-TRAN?

You have to ask for it.

The default General 7(a) or PLP pathway within E-TRAN, SBA’s online loan processing system, is designed to give lenders a 75% guarantee.  But what if your loan will be an International Trade Loan with 90% guarantee?  You have to be sure to tell E-TRAN that this is your intent!  Otherwise you’ll end up with a 75% standard 7(a) guarantee. 

Here are the two key E-TRAN steps needed to input an International Trade Loan:

1. At the very first E-TRAN screen – “Lender Information, Application” – you are asked to select the “Processing Method” from a drop-down box.  You need to choose “International Trade Loan,” not ”7a General” or “PLP.”  Pay attention to this step because if you choose the wrong Processing Method, it’s difficult to go back and change it later. 

2. Next, when you come to the “Application Information, Application” screen, you will see there is an SBA Guaranty Percentage field.  Be sure to input “90%,” not “75%.”  (By the way, on this screen, there is also a shaded “Special Purposes” box with a check mark next to “No special purposes apply.”  You can leave it that way.)

With those two exceptions, the E-TRAN process for an International Trade Loan is identical to what you do for a standard 7(a). 

It Always Pays to be Careful

Let the exporter/importer beware.

Due diligence is important at every stage of an export transaction.  Here’s a scenario that Pat Hayes, SBA’s Regional Export Finance Manager in Cleveland, brought to our attention:

Websites/systems are susceptible to being hacked.  Once the hacker is inside the company’s system they are able to snoop around and get the real inside information on the company’s activity.  For example, they could determine when the company is supposed to make a payment on an import/export transaction.  They could determine the amount of the payment and the contact person at the counterpart company – then they simply send an e-mail (purportedly from the company) saying that the company has changed banks and that the final payment should be sent to a new bank account (which is actually controlled by the scammer).  The scammer can make the e-mail look 100% authentic because they have been in the company’s operating system and know exactly how previous e-mails look and the exact details of the transaction.  The buyer doesn’t question the change because it looks so authentic and is specific to the actual transaction.  The buyer makes payment and the seller never receives it.