WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a hearing to examine the federal government’s implementation of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 passed last year. Testifying before the Committee on the first panel were Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Don Graves, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business Community Development and Housing Policy at the Treasury Department. The second panel consisted of Eric Blinderman, co-owner of Mas Restaurant and a graduate of the University of Oxford and Cornell Law School , Kristie Arslan, Executive Director of the National Association for the self-employed, Patrick Woodie, Vice President for Rural Development Programs for the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

“It is shameful when a graduate from a top tier university can’t get a loan to start a business, and that’s what we heard today ,” Senator Landrieu said. “That is why this committee presses the envelope for new and innovative ways to get capital into the hands of young Americans who we spent millions of dollars, literally, educating. Our system falls so short on giving them the opportunity to start a business, but as long as I chair this committee, we are going to continue to push open this door.”

The Jobs Act provided support to small businesses in many important ways by: 1) providing $12 billion in immediate tax relief; 2) increasing access to capital by increasing SBA loan limits and establishing the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF); and 3) strengthening the core programs of the Small Business Administration (SBA) which resulted in more money for counseling services from the Small Business Development Centers, increased export opportunities and a more level playing field for small businesses looking to contract with the federal government.

In addition, the Small Business Jobs Act permanently raised the maximum loan size for the SBA’s two largest loan programs, the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. The SBA has already supported over $16 billion in lending since October 1, 2010. In 2009, that number was only $13 billion. SBA has already surpassed that number in 7 months. In addition, the SBLF has received 702 applications for $10.1 billion in new capital.

During the hearing, Senator Landrieu also released a list of 18 additional businesses nationwide that had benefitted from the SBJA SBA related provisions. To view this list, click here.

A complete list of witnesses, as well as copies of their testimonies, can be viewed by clicking here.

A copy of Senator Landrieu’s opening statement can be view by clicking here.



Eric Blinderman is the founder and owner of a critically acclaimed restaurant in New York City named Mas (farmhouse). After being turned down for loans from banks across New York, Blindermen was able to secure a $500,000 7(a) loan from the SBA. He is currently constructing his second restaurant Mas (la grillade). Zagat’s Restaurant Guide has consistently ranked Mas (farmhouse) as one of the highest rated restaurants in New York City for food, service, and décor. When Mas (farmhouse) opened its doors in April 2004, Esquire Magazine named Mas (farmhouse) “one of the best new restaurants in the U.S.” while New York Magazine called it “one of the 100 best reasons to love New York City.” In addition, the New York Times declared that “Mas is the kind of earnest, tasteful restaurant that this city -- that any city -- can always use” and subsequently awarded it two stars.

Eric received his J.D., cum laude from Cornell Law School and was awarded an M.St. in international law from the University of Oxford, with distinction.