Ex-Im Bank Helps Small Businesses Go Global

​It Straps On Inc. – Covington, Louisiana

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Located in Covington, Louisiana since 1994, It Straps On Inc. (ISO) manufactures and processes over half a million pounds of American-made stainless steel products annually, including banding, buckles, wing seals, and sing brackets. Used extensively in commercial and industrial settings, ISO steel products are known for their strength, durability, and corrosion resistance and have proudly been sold in every state nationwide.

By 2003, ISO wanted to expand its business and export globally. International orders for their products were large volume due to their very nature, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “The risk of having that much money owed internationally was daunting,” says Katherine Smith, the company’s CEO. “We turned to the Department of Commerce for advice, and they recommended Ex-Im Bank.”

As a user of Ex-Im Bank’s credit insurance program, ISO was able to increase its international export sales to 30% of its business by 2007. “The value of Ex-Im Bank is that it allows businesses to expand internationally, virtually risk free regarding credit – when our clients are awarded credit approval through Ex-Im Bank, we know they are solid financially,” says Smith. The next year in 2008, the company received national recognition with the President’s “E” Award for outstanding contributions to the Export Expansion Program. Ex-Im Bank gives small businesses like ISO the confidence to export their products and the assurance needed to succeed on a global scale. Today, ISO ships their American-made steel products to over 30 countries worldwide.

This small town business from Louisiana may seem like just another local mom-and-pop manufacturer, but ISO products are now helping build and maintain infrastructure around the world. In 2014, ISO was again honored as one of eight companies to receive the President’s “E Star Award” for continued outstanding contributions to exports. “None of this would have been possible without Ex-Im Bank,” says Smith. Priding itself on quality and price, ISO remains an industry standard for American steel products and is the most productive manufacturer of steel bands in the U.S.