SBA Reveals 2023 Export Lender Award Recipients


The SBA recently announced its 2023 Export Lender Award winners for outstanding efforts in providing export financing to small businesses.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) head Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the 2023 Export Lender of the Year Award winners. The awards celebrate lenders who have demonstrated commitment to boosting access to capital for small businesses participating in international trade. This year, Regions Bank and Amerant Bank have been named 2023 Export Lenders of the Year, while Berkshire Bank was awarded the 2023 International Trade Lender of the Year.

Administrator Guzman stated, “SBA has long provided capital and growth strategies to strengthen our nation’s small businesses. This includes creating pathways for entrepreneurs to successfully trade in global markets.” She added that the 2023 Export Lender Award winners have set the standard for helping the SBA deliver financing, enabling small businesses to grow, diversify revenue, create jobs, and compete globally.

SBA Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade, Gabriel Esparza, emphasized the importance of local and regional institutions as key partners for the financial sector’s stability. Esparza praised the winners, Regions Bank, Amerant Bank, and Berkshire Bank, for their role in providing crucial export financing and supporting export activity.

The Export Lender of the Year Awards recognize excellence in export financing and spotlight lenders’ accomplishments in delivering SBA’s international finance programs to small businesses. These programs aim to help businesses develop new markets, finance export transactions, and expand capacity to meet overseas demand.

Regions Bank – Export Lender of the Year

  • Based in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Top Export Working Capital Lender for the past four years
  • Provided over $36 million in financing support in 2022
  • Maintains the largest active EWCP portfolio nationally

Amerant Bank – Export Lender of the Year

  • Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida
  • Export loans account for over half of their commitments
  • Provided over $20 million in financing support in 2022
  • Applied for delegated authority in 2023

Berkshire Bank – International Trade Loan (ITL) Lender of the Year

  • Based in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Provided $15 million in financing support for small business exporters
  • Approved 193 SBA loans totaling $200 million in 2022

U.S. exports play a significant role in the nation’s economy, with 97.4% of all exporters being small businesses. In fiscal year 2022, the SBA guaranteed $423 million in financing to small business exporters, supporting over $1.6 billion in export sales.



Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.