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Export Resources

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center of the Rockford Area (ITC) takes the work out of locating sources for international trade information, by helping Rockford Area businesses evaluate their export potential/readiness, pursue trade opportunities and achieve international business objectives.

The ITC uses its networks to be a comprehensive source of information and links to information published by federal and state government agencies, associations, and private sector entities.

Below are some of the resources available to you to ensure a successful global growth strategy:


Export-Import Bank

Export financing working capital guarantee program - enables U.S. exporters to obtain loans that facilitate the export of goods or services. These working capital loans, made by commercial lenders and backed by our guarantee, provide you with the liquidity to accept new business, grow your international sales and compete more effectively in the international marketplace.

Short-term insurance policies - The policy is a special product for small, financially viable businesses that are new to exporting, or have only occasionally exported. It can help increase an exporter's international sales by extending competitive credit terms while minimizing risks, and is valuable as a:

  • Risk Mitigation Tool - to insure receivables against nonpayment by foreign buyers;
  • Marketing Tool - to extend competitive credit terms to foreign buyers; and
  • Financing Aid - to arrange attractive financing with the exporter's lender by using insured foreign receivables as additional collateral.

Medium-term export credit insurance - Exporters and Financial Institutions supporting the sale of U.S. capital equipment, its installation and a complement of spare parts if necessary, can insure their foreign receivables against losses with Ex-Im Bank medium-term policies.

Ex-Im Bank medium-term policies protect U.S. sales to a single foreign buyer against the buyer's failure to pay an obligation because of unforeseen commercial or political reasons. The policies can often help U.S. exporters obtain financing and, therefore, compete in selling overseas through the use of prudent credit extension practices. Also see Ex-Im Bank's Fact Sheet on the Medium Term Bank-to-Bank Credit Line Export Credit Insurance Policy, form EIB99-10.

There is no requirement to insure all sales under the medium-term policies since each policy covers transactions with one particular buyer for single or repetitive sales.


Other programs from EXIM bank include:

  • Pre-shipment insurance
  • Dealer Finance
  • Bank Letter of Credit
  • Direct Loans
  • Leasing
  • Project Finance
  • Medical Equipment Export Programs
  • Environmental Programs

For more information contact:

Jan Blaho
Business Development Officer
Export-Import Bank of the United States
200 West Adams, Suite 2450
Chicago, IL 60606-5232


The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Trade & Investment

The DCEO offices in Rockford, Chicago and 10 others around the globe, DCEO provides sector specific trade missions and international marketing assistance.

State of Illinois Foreign Offices include:

  • Canada Office (Ontario, Canada)
  • Latin America & Caribbean Office (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • West European Office (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Central European Office (Warsaw, Poland)
  • Middle East Office (Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Africa Office (Johannesburg, Africa)
  • India Office (New Delhi, India)
  • Far East Office (Hong Kong, China)
  • Shanghai Office (Shanghai, China)
  • North Asia/Oceania Office (Tokya, Japan)

For a contact at an international office, visit here and click on the country of interest.

For more information on DCEO's trade missions and marketing assistance, click here.


U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service


The U.S. DOC Commercial Service can provide the following services to help Rockford Area companies grow exports:

Due Diligence Assistance - The U.S. Commercial Service’s International Company Profile service provides you with financial reports on companies in over 80 countries. Our worldwide network of specialists can investigate the financial strength of a company and provide useful information gleaned from the local press, industry contacts, and other sources. These reports are required by many export financing organizations.

Matchmaking - The U.S. Commercial Service can help you find potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and business partner by arranging pre-screened appointments for you before you travel abroad.

Market Research - Customized Research Reports Help:

  • Gauge sales potential in an overseas market
  • Choose the best new markets for your product or service
  • Establish effective selling and distribution strategies in specific markets
  • Find the best channels for getting your product to market
  • Discover what factors influence potential customers the most
  • Identify your competitors
  • Overcome potential market impediments, including quotas, duties, and regulations
  • Obtain the pricing of comparable products

For more information contact:

Patrick Hope
U.S. Export Assistance Center
605 Fulton Ave E103
Rockford, IL 61101
United States


Small Business Administration

Export Express Loan Program - The SBA Export Express program provides exporters and lenders a streamlined method to obtain SBA backed financing for loans and lines of credit up to $250,000.  Lenders use their own credit decision process and loan documentation; exporters get access to their funds faster.  The SBA provides an expedited eligibility review and provides a response in less than 24 hours.

Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) - SBA’s Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) loans are targeted to small businesses that are able to generate export sales and need additional working capital to support these sales. Since most banks in the U.S. do not lend against export orders, export receivables or letters of credit, SBA provides lenders guaranties of up to 90 percent on export loans to ensure that qualified exporters do not lose viable export sales due to a lack of working capital.

International Trade Loan Program - The International Trade Loan Program offers term loans to businesses that plan to start or continue exporting or that have been adversely affected by competition from imports. The proceeds of the loan must enable the borrower to be in a better position to compete. The program offers borrowers a maximum SBA-guaranteed portion of $1.75 million.

For more information visit www.sba.gov.


Contact the Rockford Area Economic Development Council for additional information on how your can increase your company's presence in the global marketplace:


Carrie Zethmayr
Director of International Trade
100 Park Ave. Ste. 100
Rockford, IL 61101

The IL SBDC International Trade Center of the Rockford Area is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Rock Valley College.