U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today joined the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) in a hearing on the barriers to job creation for small businesses.

“Job creation in America is going to happen on Main Street, not Wall Street, and it’s going to happen by us pulling together a very robust job creation package,” Senator Landrieu said. “We don’t just want to end the recession; we want to bring prosperity back to all Americans. That’s not going to happen unless we get some more fuel thrown on the fire of job creation.”

The hearing focused on how the credit crunch has impacted borrowing by small businesses, preventing them from being the job creators they have historically been. Small businesses created 64 percent of net new jobs nationally over the past 15 years, according to the Small Business Administration. But in the last year, nearly 85 percent of the jobs lost have come from small businesses, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Senator Landrieu convened 5 hearings and roundtables to explore the root of the credit crunch this year alone.

The Senator also introduced S. 1832, the Small Business Access to Capital Act. This legislation will raise the loan limit cap on SBA loans from the current $2 million to as high as $5.5 million. The SBA estimates that this change will be budget neutral and will add $5 billion in additional loan volume to small businesses next year alone.

The hearing was the first in a series of hearings the DPC will hold on jobs and job creation proposals in the Senate. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman of the Committee, and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) are heading an effort, at the request of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), to draft legislation that would spur immediate job creation.

To learn more about Senator Landrieu’s “Small Business Access to Capital Act," please click here.

To view video from today’s hearing, please click here.

To learn more about unlocking credit to small businesses, please read the DPC’s report on the issue here.