Winning the Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States is a big deal. It means you’ve done an excellent job of creating jobs on U.S. soil and facilitating exports, boosting our economy, and encouraging other countries to purchase products made in the United States.
That’s exactly what AKAS Textiles has done, and it’s why we’ve been named the 2021 Exporter of the Year. Today’s blog is a celebration of AKAS Tex’s achievement and an opportunity to share more about EXIM and why American jobs and exports matter.
Keep reading to learn more!
Who Is EXIM?
In order to understand the significance of the award, it’s essential to know who EXIM is and what they do. As mentioned in the first paragraph, EXIM stands for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
EXIM is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an Independent Executive Branch agency “with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.” In other words, EXIM helps small businesses create jobs and sell their products or goods internationally.
How Does EXIM Work?
When an American business needs financing, they look to lenders to provide the funds they need. Usually, private sector lenders loan the necessary funds to small businesses. The business survives, and the private sector lender earns their cut through the accrued interest. It’s a win-win.
But what happens when an American business needs financing, but can’t find a private sector lender to provide the funding? It happens, and it puts small businesses in a difficult situation.
That’s where EXIM steps in. For American businesses that meet the eligibility criteria, EXIM provides the necessary financing tools to help the company grow.
EXIM supports trade transactions, export credit insurance, pre-export working capital, foreign buyer loan guarantees, co-financing with other Export Credit Agencies, supply chain financing support, and structured trade and project finance transactions.
EXIM works with American companies that have been in business for at least three years, have at least one full-time employee, have a positive net worth, export goods or services made in the U.S., and have a Dun & Bradstreet Number.
Exporter of the Year Award
The Exporter of the Year Award recognizes American businesses using EXIM’s funding to provide jobs and export goods or services to other countries. The award recognizes companies that exemplify what EXIM hopes to achieve.
AKAS Textiles and Laminations, commonly abbreviated as AKAS Tex, was chosen as a 2021 Exporter of the Year. EXIM’s Tamara Maxwell, the Acting Senior Vice President of Small Business and Vice President of Women-and-Minority-Owned Business Outreach, explained EXIM’s decision.
“I am pleased to recognize AKAS Tex for its outstanding contributions to fulfilling EXIM’s mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports,” Maxwell stated.
AKAS Tex achieved this award using EXIM’s export credit insurance and working capital guarantee to support international sales. AKAS Tex has used these services since 2013 to support its long-term goals. EXIM’s small-business financing products have enabled AKAS Tex to offer credit terms to international customers and utilize working capital to fulfill export sales orders.
International customers utilized the available credit to order larger quantities of fabric than they would typically be able to afford at once. Three-month financing terms allowed customers to slowly pay for the purchased materials while creating products for their customers.
But it didn’t just benefit the customers. AKAS Tex’s export revenues jumped from five percent to 15 percent. Not only that, but AKAS Tex sold fabrics to 180 customers in 60 countries and regions, including the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and South America. EXIM’s financing made all of that possible.
Archana Sharma, AKAS Tex CEO and Chief Storyteller, stated, “It is only due to EXIM’s support that we were able to substantially grow our exports … [and] access new markets and opportunities … They are invaluable to small businesses like ours.”
With EXIM’s financing tools, AKAS Tex has reached more customers than they previously thought possible, providing premium fabrics to customers worldwide.
EXIM Visits AKAS Tex
Reta Jo Lewis is EXIM’s President and Chair. To mark her 100th day in office, Chair Lewis toured AKAS Tex in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
In addition to utilizing EXIM’s financing tools, AKAS Tex jumped into action when COVID-19 struck by providing fabric appropriate for face masks and surgical gowns. AKAS Tex’s efforts put us at the front of the pandemic, assisting healthcare professionals and citizens.
Chair Lewis cited AKAS Tex as a prime example of EXIM’s purpose in supporting small, minority-owned businesses.
About AKAS Textiles
AKAS Tex is the leading manufacturer of American-made fabric with experience spanning from design and engineering to raw materials sourcing and fabrication. We’re experts in fibers, lean manufacturing, quality control, change management, and supply chains.
AKAS Tex is proud to manufacture all our fabrics in controlled conditions in American textile mills. We provide safe, fair work environments free of harmful chemicals and toxic finishes. Our eco-friendly efforts have led us to design non-toxic versions of super-absorbent, waterproof, food-safe, and medical-grade fabrics that are free of PFOS, PFOA, lead, dioxins, heavy metals, BPA, phthalates, and super absorbent polymers.
You can use our fabrics for almost anything you can think of. Our customers provide us with excellent feedback that we include in the “Uses” tab on every product page on our sister site, Wazoodle Fabrics.
Our fabrics are used in multiple industries, including apparel, automotive, food, furniture, industrial, healthcare, hospitality, and the military. We’re trusted to provide fabrics that meet various certification requirements, including CPSIA certification standards and exacting U.S. requirements.
Do you have questions about AKAS Tex? Do you have goals you’d like to share with us? Are you creating a new product? We’d love to hear from you. Everything we do is for our customers, so we want you to have the best experience possible. You can reach us through our website or email or via phone call.
AKAS Tex is here for you!
Export-Import Bank of the United States