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Kentucky Lace Company Boosts Sales and Increases Workforce with Ex-Im Bank Financing
Thu, 2012-04-05 14:30

Exporter: Auburn Leather Company – Auburn, Kentucky
Destination: Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Worldwide
Ex-Im Product: Export Insurance
Jobs Supported: 50
Jobs Created: 20

Auburn Leather Company is a manufacturer of leather laces for footwear and sporting equipment. Since its first year when it had 12 employees and $900,000 in sales, the company has grown to over 110 employees and does over $11 million in sales annually.

Recently, Auburn Leather has experienced an increase in foreign demand for their laces leading to an upswing in sales. This sales increase is in part due to the small business insurance policy the company received from Ex-Im Bank. The assignment of Auburn's insured export accounts receivable gives lenders the confidence to provide working capital advances. These funds have supported the growth of the firm, which has added over 30 jobs in the last two years. In the first nine months of 2011, the company surpassed $11 million in sales (up from $7.4 million in 2009). Export sales now comprise 45% of total sales versus 33% in 2009. Should this uptick in sales continue, Auburn Leather's President, Lisa Howlett, expects to hire an additional 20 employees.

“Working with the Ex-Im Bank has been painless - and that's compared to a lot of work I have done with other private sphere banks," said President Howlett. "Our work with Ex-Im has allowed us to focus on what we do best - making a quality product rather than on the financing behind all of our deals. At other banks in the past, when I have asked for more money to support my increased sales they ask me what's wrong with the company. But at Ex-Im Bank, they congratulated me and asked how they could help me continue to grow.”