U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) head Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the 2023 Export Lender of the Year Award winners. The awards celebrate lenders who have demonstrated commitment to boosting access to capital for small businesses participating in international trade. This year, Regions Bank and Amerant Bank have been named 2023 Export Lenders of the Year, while Berkshire Bank was awarded the 2023 International Trade Lender of the Year.
Administrator Guzman stated, “SBA has long provided capital and growth strategies to strengthen our nation’s small businesses. This includes creating pathways for entrepreneurs to successfully trade in global markets.” She added that the 2023 Export Lender Award winners have set the standard for helping the SBA deliver financing, enabling small businesses to grow, diversify revenue, create jobs, and compete globally.
SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade, Gabriel Esparza, emphasized the importance of local and regional institutions as key partners for the financial sector’s stability. Esparza praised the winners, Regions Bank, Amerant Bank, and Berkshire Bank, for their role in providing crucial export financing and supporting export activity.
The Export Lender of the Year Awards recognize excellence in export financing and spotlight lenders’ accomplishments in delivering SBA’s international finance programs to small businesses. These programs aim to help businesses develop new markets, finance export transactions, and expand capacity to meet overseas demand.
Regions Bank – Export Lender of the Year
Based in Birmingham, Alabama
Top Export Working Capital Lender for the past four years
Provided over $36 million in financing support in 2022
Maintains the largest active EWCP portfolio nationally
Amerant Bank – Export Lender of the Year
Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida
Export loans account for over half of their commitments
Provided over $20 million in financing support in 2022
Applied for delegated authority in 2023
Berkshire Bank – International Trade Loan (ITL) Lender of the Year
Based in Boston, Massachusetts
Provided $15 million in financing support for small business exporters
Approved 193 SBA loans totaling $200 million in 2022
U.S. exports play a significant role in the nation’s economy, with 97.4% of all exporters being small businesses. In fiscal year 2022, the SBA guaranteed $423 million in financing to small business exporters, supporting over $1.6 billion in export sales.