This St. Louis, Missouri-based small business specializes in exporting high-quality food and grocery products and is a shining example of how a company can take advantage of the SBA and our resource partners.
In 2011, owners Dave and Linda Shogren tapped the University of Missouri Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Office of International Trade to help them draft their first international business plan.
The company subsequently secured an Export Express loan and an Export Working Capital loan, both guaranteed by the SBA. The SBA financing made it possible for U.S. International Foods LLC to offer open account terms to foreign clients, making them more competitive and at the same time, helped facilitate the working capital needed to support increased sales.
U.S. International Foods LLC also used SBA’s STEP grant to help cover the cost of attending a variety of trade shows and trade missions abroad, leveraging the funds to pursue new foreign market opportunities.
These resources have helped the family-owned small business grow. This year, in 2019, they are on track to hit $2 million in sales.
As Dave says, “A lot of our sales are through large customers on long payment terms. We would not have the cash flow to make those big sales without the SBA. The bigger the retailer, the longer the payment terms are, so we need that financing to do business with them. With the SBA Export Working Capital Loan, we have been able to sell on open account terms: the guarantee let us get the loan, and the loan lets us sell to those customers.”
If you’d like to learn more about the SBA resources available to help your business grow internationally, I encourage you to attend the Mid-America Trade Summit on November 6-7 and meet your local SBA Export Finance Manager Larry Cresswell, Washington, D.C.- based Senior International Trade Specialist Steve Sullivan, and hear directly from U.S. International Foods LLC and other great small business success stories as they share lessons learned and secrets to global market success.