Export Promotion:

Status of SBA Programs

T-NSIAD-92-3: Published: Nov 14, 1991. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) export promotion activities. GAO noted that: (1) SBA export promotion programs lack a strategic focus; (2) although SBA has stated that export promotion is a top priority, it devoted less than 1 percent of its fiscal year 1991 expenditures to export promotion; and (3) SBA may be overstating the extent to which its finance programs support exporting, since it classifies all SBA loans and guarantees to businesses that report that they are exporters as export related, even though SBA has no assurance that the businesses use the assistance for exporting. GAO also noted that SBA has not widely utilized its Export Revolving Line of Credit (ERCL) Program because: (1) SBA loan officers are not experienced in international finance and have received insufficient training to properly use ERCL; (2) SBA has not adequately marketed the program to bankers and small businesses; and (3) the small average size of ERCL guarantees and the small profits associated with financing smaller transactions have discouraged financial institutions from actively using the program.

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