Native Utahn Timothy Bridgewater has been hired by the Utah International Business Development office to help Utah businesses qualify for export financing through federal-government backed loans with the hope of increasing exports.

Bridgewater, who graduated from Brigham Young University in 1985 with a degree in business finance, worked for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. for 18 months before being hired by the state. He said his goal is to help those companies obtain financing for exports if they haven't exported before and increase exports from those companies that have.He will push the financing programs of the Export-Import Bank and the insurance programs of the Foreign Credit Insurance Association.

Bridgewater said a company obtaining an order from a foreign country for some products often cannot find the money to finance production of the order because some banks are reluctant to loan money with receivables as collateral. With loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank, the financing is much easier to secure.

After the products are produced, the company wants some assurance they will arrive in a foreign country without being stolen or damaged and that's where the FCIA comes in.

Gregory A. Gullett, an international trade executive in the Utah Division of Economic Development, said many Utah businessmen don't know about activities of these two federal agencies.

The Utah International Business Development Office will hold a seminar on export financing Oct. 19 in the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad board room, 650 Davis Road. It will be co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Gullett said that in 1987, Utah businesses exported $659 million worth of goods and services to foreign countries, a 30 percent increase over 1986. Although 500 Utah companies now export their products and services, it's desirable to get more businesses involved and help the state economy, he said.