WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today joined Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills, other policymakers, lenders, and small business owners at a forum on small business financing. The forum explored new ideas and strategies for expanding access to financing for small businesses.

“Now that we have stabilized Wall Street, we must jump start Main Street,” Sen. Landrieu said. “We can do this by making sure small businesses have access to the capital they need to keep their businesses alive and growing during these tough times.

“We have made strides since Congress passed and the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but now the money is about to run out. While the fact that the money has been spent quickly is a testament to the Recovery Act’s success, we must ensure that small businesses continue to have the capital they need. That begins with finding additional funding to keep the Recovery Act's programs running. That is why I am working with my colleagues to identify ways to pay for the SBA fee eliminations and increased guarantees before they run out,” Sen. Landrieu said.

Additionally, Senator Landrieu introduced last month S. 1832, “the Small Business Access to Capital Act,” which increases small business loan limits from $2 million to as high as $5.5 million. Not only will this change spur small business growth and aid in our nation’s continued economic recovery, over the long-term, SBA estimates that raising the limits will be budget neutral.

“We cannot wait to make these needed changes,” Sen. Landrieu said. “That is why I am working with Ranking Member Snowe to pass legislation in the Senate, so our small businesses will have every opportunity to continue to grow, create American jobs and keep our nation competitive in the global arena.”

The event, which President Obama called for last month, was part of a larger effort to help small businesses grow, create new jobs, and contribute to our economic recovery and to challenge the private sector to increase lending to small businesses.

To learn more about Senator Landrieu’s bill, please click here.