Federal agency provides support for South Carolina small businesses

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Small businesses in South Carolina will see support from a federal agency as part of an effort to grow the state’s economy.

The initiative is called Make More in America. The purpose is to ensure financing for businesses that want to make more in America, but also export more from America.

Congressman Jim Clyburn and Reta Jo Lewis from Export-Import Bank met with businesses on Thursday to discuss the impact domestic manufacturing has on South Carolina’s economy, and ways to grow it.

The Export-Import Bank is an independent government agency that supports American businesses by making them more competitive and giving them funding for expansion. Reta Jo Lewis is the bank’s chair and has been working closely with Clyburn to make this initiative happen.

“It is important for us to talk about the fact that working with our state and local leaders, working with our congressional leadership,” Lewis said. “We are here to be as inclusive as we can to work with organizations like our Department of Commerce and others who are also participating here today with us to talk about how we can support more businesses in South Carolina.”

Some of the small businesses they met with provide trucking, farming or port services. This new initiative will give them government support when getting a loan for exporting and it could make a big difference when growing the economy.

“So, from a small business perspective, we really stand ready to continue to work with individuals here, not just in Charleston, but all throughout the state,” Lewis said.

Barbara Melvin, the CEO of South Carolina Ports Authority, says it is her company’s job to provide bold infrastructure to allow exporters in the U.S. access to global markets. She says their leadership and partnering with Exim Back have allowed them to do that.

“So, as we advance, we minimize costs for exporters,” Melvin said. “And when we have great importers. We have more ship services for our exporters, which gives them competitive access to global markets.”

There is no official start date for the initiative; however, Lewis says businesses that have a need for financing can submit an application through Export-Import Bank.