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Shutdown leaves Kernersville business in a ‘pickle’

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- The federal program that helped Miss Jenny's Pickles make it from Kernersville to store shelves in Beijing is shut down because of the federal government shutdown, so plans for more expansion are on hold.

Miss Jenny's uses the Export-Import Bank of the United States. It works as a financier and background checker for small businesses hoping to get their products overseas.

If a buyer in China wants $1 million worth of pickles, the Ex-Im Bank insures that $1 million in the event that the buyer doesn't pay or delays in paying.

Ashlee Furr, co-owner of Miss Jenny's Pickles, said the Ex-Im Bank also makes sure prospective buyers are reputable, so late or nonpayment situations don't happen.

"We're a small company, and if we had a large order going out overseas and they just didn't pay or they waited 90 days to pay or they waited 120 days to pay it could really interrupt our cash flow and be a big problem," Furr said.

Miss Jenny's has used the program to export to China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Furr says they hoped to expand to Germany and Saudi Arabia, but those plans are on hold as long as the Ex-Im Bank is shut down.

"We're not going to make any deals until we have guaranteed funds," Furr said.

In fact, the Ex-Im Bank's website is shut down due to the federal shutdown. www.exim.gov leads viewers to more information about the status of the government.

Miss Jenny's other co-owner, Jenny Fulton, is currently in Germany working on plans to expand. Furr says even if she comes back with an order, there won't be a deal until the Ex-Im Bank reopens.

Furr says international business currently makes up just 5 percent of Miss Jenny's business but that she and Fulton had hoped to up that to 20 percent.

The federal government shutdown will not directly impact the domestic business of Miss Jenny's Pickles.

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