Washington, D.C. – During this week’s Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) questioned the Honorable Kimberly A. Reed, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Export-Import Bank of the United States about the Bank’s efforts to ensure minority-owned, veteran-owned and small businesses have access to the bank’s resources. The Export-Import Bank has financed millions of dollars in Nevada exports and supports small businesses in both urban and rural Nevada.
“Last year when you testified, I asked for an update on how you were going to promote Ex-Im Bank products to Native American businesses,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’m curious, what has been the impact? How many Native American owned businesses have participated since you became the chairman?”
In her response, Ms. Reed reaffirmed her commitment to supporting Native American communities and stated that the Export-Import Bank has been working with the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Native American Development Corporation to spur development in Indian Country. In addition, Ms. Reed has directed the Export-Import Bank to allow participating business owners to voluntarily identify themselves as Native American, in order for the bank to better understand the specific demographics of the communities they are serving.
Senator Cortez Masto acknowledged the importance of outreach to minority communities, and highlighted her additional focus on Nevada’s veteran-owned businesses, asking for “metrics and whatever outreach you are doing to make sure financing is available for our veteran-owned businesses and working within our underserved communities.”
Senator Cortez Masto also emphasized the importance of the Export-Import Bank’s collaboration with Nevada credit unions, asking for updates on the newly announced partnership between the Export-Import Bank and National Credit Union Administration and how it will help small businesses.
In response, Ms. Reed stated that the Export-Import Bank is working to engage federally insured credit unions to ensure that “members [of local credit unions] know that Ex-Im exists” and can be used as a tool to help small businesses looking for assistance accessing foreign markets.