Texas Small Business Expanding to New Markets Thanks to Ex-Im

Polyguard Products – Ennis, Texas

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In the latest edition of NAM’s Member Focus, the featured success story of Polyguard Products reveals the importance of the Export-Import Bank’s services to small and medium-sized manufacturers.

In 2005, Polyguard—a Texas-based manufacturer of protective coatings for rehabilitation and weld joints on pipelines—was sitting on the sidelines of the global marketplace. Like many small businesses, the company knew there was substantial opportunity to grow their business, but was initially hesitant to take the risk of expanding export activity without export credit insurance to safeguard against potentially hefty unpaid invoices from abroad. Adding to the challenge was the fact that private insurers often refrain from providing credit to manufacturers with smaller volumes of exports. Without export financing or insurance, small and medium-sized manufacturers face an overwhelming disadvantage compared with their global counterparts.

That’s why Polyguard turned to Ex-Im’s credit insurance, which allows small companies the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace. Polyguard has increased sales by 338% since 2005, and has more than doubled its employee count. Polyguard exports to 34 countries and counting, and won the Presidential “E” Award for outstanding contributions to growing U.S. exports in 2010. The company’s President John Muncaster and his son Nate Muncaster, Director of Global Business Development, say the expansion wouldn’t have been possible without support from the Ex-Im Bank.

“If you want small and medium companies to succeed at exports—a very significant part of the American economy—it’s Ex-Im’s role to support and underwrite those guys,” said Nathan Muncaster.

And it’s not just the Bank’s role; a congressional mandate requires Ex-Im to direct 20 percent of its funds to small businesses. In 2012, the Bank authorized $6.1 billion, nearly 17% of total transactions, directly in support of small businesses. If Congress fails to re-authorize the Ex-Im Bank before its current charter expires in September, small and medium-sized manufacturers like Polyguard would be forced to settle for less than what they’re capable of achieving and the American economy will suffer.