H2O Named 2020 EXIM Exporter of the Year
EXIM’s Export Credit Insurance Enabled Louisiana Small Business to Export Nearly $3.6 million in Clean Water Services
Washington -- H2O LLC, a small business in Lafayette, Louisiana, that provides water treatment solutions for offshore oil and gas markets and marine industries, has been named an Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The company, which has used EXIM’s export credit insurance to support its international sales since 2017, will be honored during EXIM’s 2020 Annual Conference, the largest conference in the agency’s history, which is being held virtually September 9-11.
H2O was founded in 1980, with a mission of providing high quality water treatment solutions for the offshore oil and gas markets, later expanding into the commercial marine industry. Over the years, the company has designed and built hundreds of systems to provide potable water using reverse osmosis desalination, help control biofouling utilizing electrochlorination technology, and treat sewage to meet environmental discharge standards — along with a full array of replacement parts and services for these systems — for clients around the world.
“I am honored to recognize H2O on behalf of EXIM for its outstanding contributions to fulfilling our agency’s mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports,” said EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed. “The winners of EXIM’s Exporter of the Year award come from every region of our country and many different industries, but all represent American ingenuity and success. Approximately 90 percent of EXIM’s authorizations directly support small businesses like the exporters being awarded today, and at EXIM we are proud to help in the success of these small businesses as they compete in the global marketplace and support American jobs.”
As H2O grew its international customer base, it turned to EXIM’s export credit insurance to maintain an acceptable level of risk for a small business with 32 employees. The company’s water treatment projects allow it to utilize EXIM support for environmentally beneficial exports. As a result, the company was able to get a more accurate assessment of customers’ credit worthiness, which allowed it to make better credit decisions. With clients in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and South America, H2O has been able to expand into new geographical markets and increase global sales. In 2019, international sales constituted about 37 percent of total sales, but are on track to exceed 50 percent in 2020. Since 2017, EXIM has supported exports valued at nearly $3.6 million to 18 countries. The company’s policies are facilitated by EXIM broker J. Maxime Roy, Inc., headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, with offices in Texas, South Carolina, and New York.
“EXIM’s export credit insurance program has allowed us to make additional credit sales to clients that would otherwise pose too great a risk for a small company,” said Jess Fike, CEO of H2O.
Since 2014, EXIM has supported exports valued at $880 million from 100 companies — including 68 small businesses like H2O — across Louisiana.
U.S. companies, particularly small businesses, can utilize EXIM’s financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their “Made in the USA” products, and sustain American jobs. By partnering with EXIM, exporters can mitigate the risk of nonpayment on international sales, offer credit terms to foreign buyers, and access working capital loan guarantees. In addition, EXIM has implemented several COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions to enhance the agency’s existing programs.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.