The Georgia Housing and Finance Authority (GHFA) entered the trade finance business July 1 when a $1 million allocation by the Georgia General Assembly became available for small to medium-sized businesses seeking assistance to complete export transactions.

Susanne Keough, the GHFA’s recently appointed export finance manager, said that the funds would be reserved for exporters who already have a buyer.  “These funds won’t be for companies to develop international marketing strategies or plans,” she said, “but for companies that have firm export orders and need the financing to complete a transaction.”

The maximum level of guarantee is 90% of the cost of goods sold, up to a maximum of $500,000.

She added that in the future the GHFA would develop educational programs to assist companies new to exporting.

In 1991, the Authority, which was created to ensure the availability of financing to provide low- and moderate-income Georgians affordable housing, had its mandate expanded to include economic development. Gov. Zell Miller recommended that the funding to stimulate exports be included in the 1995 budget, and the General Assembly approved his request last year.

For more information, Ms. Keough may be reached by telephone at (404) 679-5276 or 1 (800) 359-4663, or by fax at (404) 679-4837.