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SBA Export Loan Programs Help Company Feed the World with Minnesota Grains

Situation:

Stone Arch Commodities is a Minnesota-based export trading company that was formed in 2016 by Revis Stephenson, Joseph Caruso, Hunter Kaestner, and Max Shimada. It specializes in trading grain commodities used as livestock feed for customers worldwide. Ag Transfer, a subsidiary of Stone Arch Commodities, owns and operates two transload facilities in Minneapolis, Minn. and Chicago, Ill., bringing in bulk commodities by truck and loading them into containers ready for export.

Stone Arch Commodities’ core team had more than three decades of industry experience, and had built great relationships, when they decided to create their company. What they needed next was financing and that’s where SBA-backed loans came in.  

Solution:

Nearly 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. The SBA has programs developed specifically to help small business businesses find and finance foreign sales opportunities.

Stone Arch Commodities has tapped into a couple of those programs. The company received SBA-backed funding through two different programs; an SBA Export Working Capital Line of Credit for pre-export financing and an SBA International Trade Loan to purchase equipment and to complete the build-out of the transload facility in Elmwood, Illinois.

Outcome:
Together the two companies currently employ more than 47 people. Thanks in part to SBA-backed financing, Stone Arch has been able to steadily increase shipping tonnage of U.S. feed products overseas. In 2018 they shipped 260,000 metric tons; the equivalent of 10,000 40-foot shipping containers.

Stone Arch Commodities, along with its subsidiary, Ag Transfer, were chosen as the 2019 SBA Minnesota Exporter of the Year. SBA’s Regional Export Finance Manager Carlos Sosa, explained, “Stone Arch Commodities was chosen for its ability to exponentially expand its export revenue base while also creating numerous well- paying jobs in Minnesota. We are excited to have such a model company contributing to the economic well-being of the country and we are proud to be part of this success story.”