Press release

SBA Recognizes Office of International Trade 2022 Export Lender Award Winners

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized Office of International Trade 2022 Export Lender Award winners for their efforts to increase access to capital for U.S. companies by providing international trade financing to small businesses. This year, the SBA selected TD Bank and GBC International Bank as the Export Lenders of the Year and Byline Bank as the International Trade Lender of the Year, respectively.

Increasing access and opportunities, through robust financing and tailored, expert advice, for American small businesses and startups to sell their goods and do business in international markets has been a key priority of Administrator Guzman. Recently, the SBA joined Business Forward, Inc. to launch the Small Business Digital Alliance, a new co-sponsorship that seeks to help small businesses take advantage of digital tools to expand their e-commerce footprint in an increasingly interconnected global economy.

“We are honored to recognize TD Bank, GBC International Bank, and Byline Bank with the SBA’s Export Lender Awards for 2021. Access to capital remains one of the primary factors preventing small businesses from selling abroad. The export financing provided by our lending partners is crucial to bridging that gap and allowing small businesses to open new markets,” said SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade, Gabriel Esparza. “Small businesses engaged in international trade grow faster, pay higher wages, and have greater economic stability when compared to non-exporters. We are proud of the role each of these award-winning lending partners plays in supporting export activity.” 

The Export Lender Awards recognize excellence in export financing. These awards highlight the accomplishments of lenders in delivering SBA’s international finance programs to small businesses, designed to help small businesses develop new markets, finance export transactions, and expand capacity to meet overseas demand.

TD Bank is the eighth largest full-service bank in the nation by assets and supports businesses throughout the country. During 2021, TD Bank supported more than 1,400 American small businesses through SBA 7(a) and 504 loans totaling more than $502 million. With more than 1,400 SBA loans made in 2021, TD ranked as the fifth largest lender by loan volume in 2021. TD Bank regularly uses the Export Working Capital Program and issued more than $18 million in credit lines to exporters in 2021. 

"As a leading SBA lender, we are committed to helping our small business customers grow and achieve their long-term business goals," said Tom Pretty, head of SBA lending at TD Bank. "This is why we are pleased to work with the SBA to provide specialized offerings, like the Export Working Capital Program, to ensure our small business customers with export sales can secure the financing they need to efficiently operate their businesses."

GBC International Bank is a privately held bank based in Los Angeles that specializes in export lending. GBC was recognized by the SBA as the Export Lender of the Year in 2016 and by the EXIM Bank as their 2020 Lender of the Year. The bank supports small business exporters throughout the United States with all three of the SBA’s core export loan programs, EWCP, Export Express, and the International Trade Loan program. In 2021, GBC provided more than $20 million in financing support to small business exporters through their use of export loan programs.  

“At GBC International Bank, we pride ourselves in simplifying complex banking for our customers,” said Dennis Lam, GBC Bank CEO and Chairman. “With support from the SBA Office of International Trade staff and programs, we leverage our strengths to help U.S. small businesses expand sales of goods and services from local to global markets. Our efforts have led to the retention, creation, and growth of jobs in the U.S. It is an honor to be recognized by SBA, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”

Based in Illinois, Byline Bank has been recognized as the number one SBA Lender in Illinois for the past 12 years and the top SBA lender in Wisconsin for the past seven years. Byline Bank has been among the most active users of the International Trade Loan Program and was the highest volume lender in terms of loans and dollars in 2021. In 2021, Byline provided more than $37 million in support to small business exporters by using the International Trade Loan Program (ITL).  In addition to using the ITL Program, Byline Bank was the fifth largest lender by loan commitments under the SBA 7(a) program in 2021.

“This award is meaningful to our team, who pride themselves in helping provide small businesses with the access to capital and financing solutions they need,” said Tom Abraham, President, Byline Small Business Capital. “It’s gratifying to know we’ve also played a role in helping small business exporters finance growth in the global market through the SBA International Trade Loan program.”

U.S. exports are important to the nation’s economy, with 97.4% of all exporters being small businesses. During the fiscal year 2021, the SBA guaranteed $856 million in financing to small business exporters, which supported over $3 billion in export sales.



About SBA’s Export Loan Programs 

The SBA maintains a suite of three export loan programs designed to aid small businesses expanding internationally. The SBA’s flagship export program is the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), an asset-based credit line that can support both purchase order and receivable financing. The International Trade Loan (ITL) is a 7(a) program that can support export capacity building and the reshoring of production. Finally, the Export Express program is a compliment to the SBA Express program which is positioned to support quick access to small-dollar financing needs. Additional details on the SBA’s export loan programs can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration 

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit