Faces of Trade: HERO FL

Leslie Smith, President, and Carlton Smith, Vice President


Heavy Equipment Resources of Florida, Inc. (HERO FL) specializes in the export of mining machinery and parts, with a concentration on developing regions. Exports represent 100 percent of HERO FL’s business, and its three employees’ jobs are directly tied to exports. Over the next two years, Vice President Carlton Smith is confident that the firm will be able to hire three more employees as a direct result of rising export sales.

HERO FL ships its products to Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Since the company opened its doors six years ago, HERO FL has faced an array of trade barriers. Smith says, “Robust trade agreements help alleviate these problems, as well as strengthen HERO FL’s ability to do business abroad. More trade agreements will give HERO FL the time to market products and supply customers, instead of spending time interceding to solve problems. The entire country, including Florida’s small businesses, stands to benefit.”

The Export-Import Bank of the United States has been instrumental in HERO FL’s increased sales to Africa. Leslie Smith, President of HERO FL, said: “I was concerned about the risks of doing business in some parts of Africa, so we could do nothing more than cash and carry. A lot of times they just don’t have the cash. We began to use the Bank’s export credit insurance to provide competitive terms to buyers, and our sales increased.” As business progressed, the firm used Ex-Im’s small business insurance policy for Africa - $436,000 of sales covered from 2010 to 2013. Reauthorizing the Bank beyond September 2014 is vital to the continued success of American small businesses such as HERO FL.

Support Ex-Im Bank reauthorization at www.uschamber.com/ex-im.