WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, called on the Bush Administration to outline steps it will take to help small businesses facing a contracting credit market. In the “Economic Report of the President” released this week, the Administration acknowledges lending standards for large and small businesses have tightened. Yet, in the 2009 budget request the President unveiled last week, the Administration has instead proposed implementing higher fees on lenders and provided zero resources to expand loans to small businesses which are on the decline.

“President Bush says he’s worried about the tightening credit market, but he’s offered nothing to increase access to the capital small businesses need to create jobs,” said Kerry. “The President’s budget actually increases fees on small business loans and increases the cost of microloans. This budget doesn’t reflect the reality of a tightening credit market and doesn’t look out for small businesses.”

Kerry plans to hold a hearing on February 27, 2008, on the Bush Administration’s proposed budget for the Small Business Administration next year. The small business credit crunch is one of many issues Kerry will raise at the budget hearing.

Today, Kerry sent a letter to Small Business Administration head Steven Preston calling on him to take proactive steps to help ease the credit crunch for small businesses. To read the full text of the letter to Administrator Preston, please click here.