Openly gay Obama Adminstration official Fred Hochberg, president of the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, attended a special small business forum in Charlotte on Friday.

CHARLOTTE — Local small- and medium-sized businesses were invited to attend a special forum today to learn more about opportunities for exporting their products. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mayor Anthony Foxx were joined at the event by Fred Hochberg, president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and is one of the highest-ranking openly LGBT officials in the Obama Administration.

The forum, held at Siemens Energy’s Charlotte plant, included industry, academic and government experts who shared with North Carolina businesses the inside knowledge they need to maximize export opportunities. The event ended with one-on-one sessions for small businesses to gather input from Ex-Im bank experts.

In a June 2010 report, the Brookings Institute ranked the Charlotte-area 29th nationally for export-related activity with more than $10 billion in exports that support 72,000 jobs. Foxx has said that many small businesses lack the tools and information to develop a plan for exporting and benefit from further engagement with innovative events and forums to address “Access to Capital” issues.

Other speakers at the event included Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan and Charlotte Regional Partnership President Ronnie Bryant. : :

— compiled from release

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.