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Export Express

Financial Resources For Northwest & West Central Ohio Entrepreneurs


Purpose of Program

Most banks in the U.S. do not lend against export orders, export receivables or letters of credit.  SBA temporarily provides lenders with up to a 90 percent guaranty on export loans as a credit enhancement to encourage participating banks to make loans that make the necessary export financing available. SBA 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 $250,000.

Eligible Businesses

SBA Export Express loans are available to businesses that meet the normal requirements for an SBA 7(a) business loan guaranty. Financing is available for manufacturers, wholesalers, export trading companies and service exporters.  Loan applicants must demonstrate that the loan proceeds will enable them to enter a new export market or expand an existing export market.  Applicants must have been in business, though not necessarily in exporting, for at least 12 months.

Eligible Use of Funds

Loan proceeds may be used to finance any export development activity, including:

Standby letters of credit when required as a bid bond, performance bond or advance payment guarantee

Participation in a foreign trade show

Translation of product brochures or catalogs for use in overseas markets

General lines of credit for export purposes

Service contracts from buyers located outside the United States

Transaction-specific financing needs associated with completing actual export orders

Purchase of real estate and equipment to be used in the production of goods or services for export

Providing term loans and other financing to enable small business concerns, including export trading companies and export management companies, to develop foreign markets

Acquisition, construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or expansion of productive facilities or equipment to be used in the United States in the production of goods or services for export

Loan Amount

The maximum line of credit/loan amount is $250,000. The lender receives an 85 percent guaranty for loan amounts up to $150,000 and 75 percent on loan amounts between $150,000 and $250,000.

Repayment Term

The maturity of an SBA Export Express term loan is usually 5 to 10 years for working capital, 10 to 15 years for machinery and equipment (not to exceed the useful life of the equipment), and up to 25 years for real estate. The maturity for revolving lines of credit may not exceed 7 years. 

Interest Rates

The SBA does not establish or subsidize interest rates on loans. Interest rates are negotiated between the borrower and the lender, but may never exceed SBA interest rate caps. Rates can either be fixed or variable, and are tied to the prime rate as published in The Wall Street Journal, the one-month LIBOR rate, or the optional peg rate published quarterly in the Federal Register.


The SBA fee for an Export Express loan with a 12-month maturity or less is percent (0.25 percent) assessed on the guaranteed portion of the loan. For loan maturities longer than 12 months, the normal guaranty fee is 2 percent on loans up to $150,000 and 3 percent on loans between $150,000 and $250,000.


Collateral, Security

Lenders follow collateral policies and procedures that the lender has established for its non-SBA-guaranteed loans.


Participation Requirements

Additional Considerations

Because many small business exporters face unique problems and challenges, the SBA Export Express Program also includes technical assistance in the form of marketing, management and planning assistance. SBA’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers provide technical assistance in cooperation with SBA’s network of resource partners, including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). On approval of an SBA Export Express loan, a U.S. Export Assistance Center representative will contact the borrower to offer appropriate assistance, which may include training through the SBA’s Export Trade Assistance Partnership, SBDC International Trade Center, SCORE, District Export Council, or Export Legal Assistance Network.

Program Funding Source

How to Apply

Application is made directly to the lender. Lenders use their own credit decision process and loan documentation. Lenders approve the request and then submit a limited amount of eligibility information to SBA’s National Loan Processing Center. The SBA provides a response within 24 hours. Interested businesses should contact their existing lender to determine if it is an SBA Express lender. Lenders that participate in the SBAExpress program are also able to make Export Express loans.

Links to Loan Application and/or Specific Information

Small Business Administration
Columbus District Office
401 N. Front Street, Suite 200
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Go here for West Central Ohio SBA Participating Lenders

Useful Information

Interest Rate Links

Business Management Links

Glossary of Important Financial Terms You Should Understand

How To Prepare A Business Plan to Obtain Money

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