Washington State Manufacturer Helps Keep World On Same Note with Music Stands
Manhasset Specialty Company – Yakima Valley, Washington
Manhasset Specialty Company has been designing and manufacturing high-quality music stands and music accessories since 1935. Originally founded in Manhasset, NY, the small manufacturer moved to Yakima Valley, WA, in the early 1940s with an innovative mindset that has kept the company thriving.
About 15 years ago, Manhasset decided it was time to start exporting its products to distributors overseas. However, the small business has struggled with competitive pricing as Manhasset’s music stands and accessories are still largely unknown in many other parts of the world.
For this reason, foreign wholesale customers are many times hesitant to buy products in large quantities without credit terms. Particularly as they are trying to build brand awareness in such unknown markets, prepayment of large amounts is difficult. Also, the shipping costs for smaller orders are higher, so if they don’t purchase larger quantities such as full containers, their shipping costs per music stand become another obstacle to their efforts to promote the “new” products. The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has been a critical tool in helping Manhasset to solve this problem.
Like many small manufacturers in the United States, Manhasset relies on the Ex-Im Bank strictly for its insurance policy which enables the company to offer competitive credit to international buyers and reduces nonpayment risk, by providing it protection of 95% of such credit amounts. It should be noted that the company’s foreign buyers have never defaulted, but Manhasset still could not afford the credit risk without this insurance.
Manhasset President Barry Heid says the Bank’s guarantee has helped increase the company’s foreign sales by reassuring foreign buyers and also giving Manhasset the confidence to export its products into new markets.
“All businesses have to be looking at what we can do to protect ourselves; we went through a huge recession for which we are still feeling some of the affects,” said Heid. “We’ve got to have the ability to export our products to other places in the world to remain competitive and grow. I am confused why anyone is against this program that enables many companies to prosper – and helps the balance of trade.”
In addition to the support the Ex-Im Bank provides to U.S. exporters, the Bank actually generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury at no cost to taxpayers. The Ex-Im Bank is a win-win for American manufacturers and taxpayers.
“The only way Manhasset can continue to grow is to expand exports; and without Ex-Im’s support and protection this would be very difficult,” said Heid. “In addition, eliminating an agency that continuously helps to reduce our federal deficit is just bad policy.” Heid also asked “Have those that may be considering not reauthorizing this program given thought to what they might cut from the federal budget to account for the loss of revenue if it is not reauthorized?”
Washington lawmakers need to stand up for American manufacturers and encourage international expansion by voting to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter.