NJ AND CITIBANK OFFER FOREIGN TRADE LOANS
By Hugh Morley/The Record
January 22, 2012
* State authority teams with Citibank to offer low-interest loans to help businesses expand international reach.
Small businesses looking for help in going global just got lucky.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has agreed to partner with Citibank N.A. in a three-year program to provide low-interest loans to businesses looking to expand through international trade.
The program will provide companies already engaged in global trade with a source of low-interest loans, where they previously would have had to find a regularly priced loan to help them expand, said Tim Lizura, senior vice president for the EDA.
“It provides capital for companies to grow and expand at below-market rates costs,” he said. “It really strengthens our international trade position.”
Companies that get loans will also gain access to Citibank’s worldwide network of offices that can provide help in tapping foreign markets, Lizura said.
Citibank is putting up about $50 million, and the EDA will provide partial guarantees of up to 50 percent of the loans.
To be eligible, businesses must have been in business for at least two years and have annual sales of $5 million to $50 million, and be doing business in New Jersey.
The loan interest will be between half and three-quarters of a percentage point below market prices.
Manufacturers that receive loans must maintain their level of employment in New Jersey for the life of the loan. And non-manufacturers must add one job for each $50,000 of the loan, Lizura said.
Although final details for the program won’t be outlined until March, Lizura said his agency has already been contacted by a South Jersey food company that is expanding its trade with China.
The company is looking for a loan to create new bottling lines and pay for other equipment needed to expand in Asia and New Jersey, Lizura said.