Lending to U.S. small businesses that sell goods and services abroad received a slightly bigger boost from the government in the past year.

The Small Business Administration said Monday that agency-guaranteed loans to exporters rose about 1%, to $923 million, for the 12 months that ended Sept. 30. The loans supported $1.7 billion in small-business exports, according to the agency.

The SBA has three loan programs that address the financing needs of smaller exporters.  Export Express loans, which have a $500,000 maximum, a 90% guaranty on amounts up to $350,000, and a 75% guaranty on amounts up to $500,000, permit borrowers to use proceeds to pay costs associated with developing and entering new markets.  The Export Working Capital program, which has a $5 million maximum and 90% guaranty, provides financing for export transactions.  International Trade Loans, which carry a $5 million maximum and a 90% guaranty, allow small-business exporters to expand their facilities or buy equipment.

“Giving small businesses the tools they need to export their goods and services and create jobs is an important part of our core mission,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a news release. “Exporting is creating opportunities for small businesses to create good-paying jobs and provide economic benefits to local communities nationwide.”

According to the SBA, the agency has guaranteed 6,100 loans to small-business exporters for more than $3.1 billion and supported more than $6 billion in exports since 2009.

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