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Trade Opportunities for Small Businesses

Mark Marich

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, (D-La), introduced a bill to help increase small business trade opportunities. S.1196,  The Small Business International Trade Enhancements Act of 2009 improves the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of International Trade to help small businesses looking to survive and grow.

The bill reasserts Sen. Landrieu’s call for a new Assistant United States Trade Representative focused exclusively on small business issues to ensure that the interests of small business exporters are represented during trade negotiations. The bill requires the SBA to maintain at least 22 trade financial specialist positions to provide business counseling and technical assistance to small exporters through the United States Export Assistance Centers (USEAC’s), operated by the Department of Commerce (currently, there are only 17 such specialists). The proposed legislation would also increase the total amount of financing available through the International Trade Loan Programs and adjust the collateral requirements by allowing a second lien position on property or equipment financed by a loan or on other assets of the small business.

“What helps our entrepreneurs helps our economy. Every $1 billion of exports creates more than 14,000 high-paying American jobs. By creating jobs and lessening the trade deficit, an increase in small business trade will lead us out of this recession and make our country better able to compete,” Sen. Landrieu said

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