Times-Picayune; Bruce Albert

The Senate Small Business Committee on Thursday got a personal look at the economic recession from the perspective of two small business owners and two bankers.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the panel's chairwoman, said the testimony showed the disconnect between banks that received financial bailouts from the federal government and say they are making loans and the inability of small businesses to get loans or even hold on to existing lines of credit...

Landrieu said she is hopeful a new Obama administration plan to ease restrictions on SBA loans and to provide bigger loan guarantees will help a desperate situation for many small businesses.

"Restaurants are shutting their doors, stores are going out of business and entrepreneurs are looking to unemployment lines as even some small business owners with the best credit history are having trouble getting loans," she said.

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