Washington Post, By: Sharon McLoone

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the Senate's Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, sent a letter (pdf) on Monday to President Bush urging more support for small businesses.

"Since last November, I've urged this administration to prepare for the looming credit crunch," said Kerry. "In letters and hearings, members of the committee asked the SBA to step up to help small businesses. Despite the extraordinary financial crisis, the agency has been of little help to the very people they're meant to serve."

Kerry cited the problems with the 7(a) program in his letter and suggested that the administration could temporarily reduce fees, make disaster loans available nationwide to serve as bridge loans until the economic rescue package takes effect and adjust the rate cap on the loans temporarily.

He introduced a bill in September that would temporarily suspend the fees that the SBA typically charges its borrowers and banks and noted in his letter to Bush that the SBA has objected to the bill's provisions.

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