The U.S. Small Business Administration honors Regions Bank for helping small-business owners introduce their products to the global marketplace.

Regions Bank on Tuesday announced it has received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2023 Export Lender of the Year Award.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Ronnie Smith, head of Regions Corporate Banking group, received the 2023 SBA Export Lender of the Year Award. Those pictured include (L to R) Carson Strickland, head of Regions Global Trade Finance; Caroline Taylor, head of Regions Small Business Administration Lending; Ronnie Smith; Gabriel Esparza, SBA associate administrator for the Office of International Trade; Daniel Pische, SBA national director of Trade Finance. (Photo: Business Wire)

In 2022, Regions facilitated more than $36 million in financing for small-business exporters by leveraging the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) and International Trade Loan Program (ITLP). Through new working capital loans in 2022, Regions maintained the largest active EWCP portfolio in the U.S. Together, the EWCP and ITLP empower entrepreneurs through two key advantages.

  1. The EWCP makes it possible for small-business owners to use a revolving line of credit in advance of finalizing an export sale or contract. The result is greater flexibility in negotiating export payment terms.
  2. The ITLP provides term loan financing to help small businesses enter international markets and make new investments to export goods.

“Regions Bank is deeply committed to the success of small businesses,” said Caroline Taylor, head of Small Business Administration Lending for Regions Bank. “Our approach begins with the experience and insights of bankers who take the time to listen to clients – and then develop customized solutions to help turn the client’s vision into reality. A key part of our success is our Global Trade team that works in collaboration with the SBA, leveraging options such as the SBA’s export programs to connect entrepreneurs, quite literally, to a world of new opportunities. As a result, we’re helping small businesses gain a global reach while building lasting, sustainable success in the communities where they are based. Regions Bank is honored to be recognized as Export Lender of the Year. And the greatest honor is seeing clients achieve and even surpass their goals for growth.”

Regions is a preferred SBA lender and makes final credit decisions on SBA-guaranteed loans, cutting down the length of time needed to process transactions. Regions also provides a diverse suite of global trade finance options. Resources include:

  • Performance Solutions: These options are designed to help develop and expand a company’s global customer base and negotiate international contracts while minimizing financial risk. Through various standby Letter of Credit services, small-business owners can support regular supply contracts with foreign buyers and be covered for those goods in the event the buyer defaults on payment.
  • Working Capital Solutions: This supports the growth of international sales by financing the exporting of products while maintaining working capital availability. Through the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), the official export credit agency of the United States, SBA export financing and Trade Credit Insurance, small-businesses owners have additional options to access working capital needed to export their goods around the world.
  • Payment Risk Mitigation Solutions: This improves cash flow and expedites payments for overseas transactions by using Regions’ connections with banks around the globe to collect and process payments from foreign financial institutions.
  • Foreign Business Solutions: These help international companies receive small-business exports from U.S.-based companies by providing financing for purchases. Through the use of Bankers Acceptance, foreign companies receive a letter of credit for a specified time period. Additionally, Ex-Im Bank Guarantee Medium-Term Financing helps creditworthy international buyers and provides payments to exporters.

“With the majority of the world’s consumers being based outside the United States, the opportunities to export products from U.S.-based small businesses continues to grow,” said Carson Strickland, Regions Bank’s Global Trade Finance director. “Often, we see where locally based companies here at home have a product, service or solution that’s ideal for meeting needs abroad. So, our role is to provide the financial services and guidance to connect local clients with international customers. This represents an incredible opportunity for small businesses – and their new customers, as well.”

Gabriel Esparza, the SBA’s associate administrator for the Office of International Trade, visited Regions’ headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, to present the award.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to the stability of the broader financial sector, especially with local and regional institutions, who are our key partners around the country. We are honored to recognize Regions Bank as one of three Export Lenders of the Year for 2023. Access to capital is key for any business engaged in international trade. The export financing provided by our lending partners is crucial to bridging the trade finance gap and allowing American small businesses to open new markets,” Esparza said. “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.”

This is Regions Bank’s second Export Lender of the Year selection. The bank also received the award in 2019.

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $155 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,250 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at

Jennifer Elmore Regions Bank (334) 240-1220 Regions News Online: Regions News on Twitter: @RegionsNews

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