SunTrust Banks Inc. announced that it experienced portfolio growth of 31 percent through September of this year over year end 2009 in its U.S. Small Business Administration export lending programs.

The portfolio growth follows SunTrust’s SBA export lending portfolio growth of 152 percent in 2009 over 2008.

In May, SunTrust received the “Export Lender of the Year” award from the SBA for making the most export working capital loans to U.S. exporters in 2009.

SunTrust’s SBA Export Working Capital program provides loans to small business exporters seeking short-term working capital to fund direct export costs.

According to a company news release, SunTrust also has seen strong demand for the SBA Export Express program since its inception in 2009. The loans are targeted to small business exporters and have a maximum loan amount of $250,000.

Susanne Keough, managing director and head of the Global Trade Solutions division at SunTrust, says in the release that she believes there will be increased interest in the export working capital loan program since President Obama recently signed the Small Business Jobs Act into law.

The act is to increase the maximum loan value and guaranty levels on many SBA programs including the working capital and export express programs.

For more information about these programs, go to the business banking section of