WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 33 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the signing of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance and Trade), the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, which will formalize the SBA’s existing relationship with the association. BAFT and SBA strive to tackle challenges both lenders and small businesses face when seeking the trade financing that is essential to international trade. Together, the SBA and BAFT will work to educate small businesses and their lenders on the export financing solutions available in the marketplace.
“SBA’s new agreement with BAFT recognizes the impact and ingenuity of our small business exporters and the important role our lending partners play in funding their growth,” said Administrator Guzman. “Our joint efforts to increase resources to BAFT members and grow the number of lenders offering SBA international trade products will expand access to capital. By doing so, this work helps deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to create opportunities for small businesses, and strengthen our economy for all of us.”
“Financing is an important element in helping small businesses expand their customer base internationally and has been a persistent challenge,” said Tod Burwell, President and CEO of BAFT. “SBA is helping to ease that challenge, and with the leverage of the global BAFT network, we hope to collectively make a positive difference.”
Through its Office of International Trade, the SBA works to support small and midsized exporters with a goal of increasing both the number of businesses exporting and the dollar value of those exports. This work is done across the Agency by offering access to education and technical assistance, access to capital, and trade policy to support market access for small businesses.
BAFT serves as a worldwide forum for analysis, discussion, and advocacy in international financial services and provides support to members that are active in trade finance, supply chain finance, credit insurance, and export credits. Specifically, BAFT is the voice of the global trade finance community. In addition to tracking strategic global trade policy developments, BAFT provides practical guidance papers and tools including standardized legal documentation as well as a forum for discussion on topical trade finance challenges.