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The Export-Import Bank may be able to help.

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If exporting is part of your business game plan, theExport-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) can be yourbiggest ally. The bank makes working capital guarantees to smalland medium-sized companies to cover up to 90 percent of theprincipal and interest on commercial loans. The guarantee can applyto a single loan or a revolving line of credit, and generally mustbe repaid in one year.

Entrepreneurs must have been in business at least one year inorder to be eligible. Loans of up to $5 million are available andcan be used for raw materials or finished products for export; topay for materials, labor and overhead used to product goods forexport; or to cover standby letters of credit, bid and performancebonds. Business owners can apply directly to the Ex-Im Bank for apreliminary guarantee and then shop around for up to six months forthe best loan package.

Business owners can approach Ex-Im Bank directly (202-565-3946)or through any commercial bank that deals with the agency.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up GuideYou'll Ever Need

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