OTTAWA, ON--  - Small Canadian businesses that sell abroad are a talented and innovative group with an ability to surprise their larger competition. Every now and then, they even surprise themselves.

One company in particular was surprised to find themselves linked to global trade, even though they had never sold anything outside of Canada. Not even once.

"We know that roughly 40,000 of Canada's 1.2 million small companies are exporters, companies that sell into markets outside of Canada," said Christian Dallaire, Vice-President, Small Business Solutions, at Export Development Canada (EDC).

"But how many of the remaining 1.16 million are export enablers, those companies that have a direct and meaningful impact on the ability of other companies to export? These companies are a critical part of Canada's exporting picture, and they may not even know it."

A good example of an export enabler is CDI, located in Sault Ste. Marie, who build, sell, and install steel fabricated structures including platforms and conveyor stands all over Canada.

One of their Canadian suppliers makes torrefied wood pellets from biomass for the European market. As Europe steadily eliminates coal as a fuel source for their power plants, CDI's customer needed to increase production to meet growing demand.

CDI had the technical ability to create that solution, but their customer's request was one of the largest projects that CDI had ever undertaken. Given the size and duration of the contract, CDI's operating bank required some form of credit enhancement prior to increasing its existing line of credit to CDI.

To address the financing gap, EDC issued a guarantee to CDI's bank, allowing them to increase CDI's line of credit in an amount that provided ample working capital for the contract.

"We are appreciative of the support provided by EDC and our commercial banking team at BMO for helping our project move ahead," said Ryan McLeod, President and Owner of CDI. "The impact on CDI has been meaningful and will allow us to compete at a different level in both Canada and abroad."

EDC is Canada's leading provider of financing, insurance and bonding products for small Canadian companies that have contracts or business outside of Canada.

"EDC's job is to develop financial solutions for the unique needs of small Canadian companies, whether they are exporters or export enablers," Dallaire explained. "If this sounds like something your company is doing, give us a call; we're here to help."

Canadian companies with similar needs can call 1-888-434-8508 or visit

About EDC

EDC is Canada's trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private- and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.

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