Washington, D.C. – President Trump today signed into law a bipartisan, bicameral bill led by U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), House Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The bill, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, will ensure appropriate oversight of Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) flagship loan program and improve access to capital for small business owners. Numerous small business advocacy groups, program participants, and entrepreneurs applauded the bill’s passage and encouraged the President to sign it into law. This bill passed both the House and Senate Committees unanimously, and passed the House and Senate without objection.

“I’m grateful to President Trump for signing this important legislation into law,” said Chairman Risch. “Since the SBA’s 7(a) loan program was enacted, millions of entrepreneurs have used this critical financial lifeline to start or expand their business - funds they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Our job in Congress is to make sure these vital programs are being operated effectively and with appropriate oversight to ensure they will be available for future generations of entrepreneurs. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act is an example of hard work in a bipartisan and bicameral way to ensure these objectives are met. I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this bill and thank all of my colleagues involved for their efforts.”  

Chairman Chabot said: “For many small business owners and entrepreneurs who have been turned down for financing, SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program can make or break their company. It’s the difference between a small business expanding and creating jobs in their community and a business idea that fails to launch. That’s why we need to make sure the program remains intact and continues to serve small business owners as it was intended to do. I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I have put into seeing the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act become law but more importantly it’s a huge win for small businesses."

“Small businesses are the backbone of New Hampshire’s economy, and I am pleased to see our bipartisan legislation to improve the SBA’s 7(a) loan program signed into law,” said Shaheen. “This program provides critical resources and access to credit for Granite Staters who are starting a businesses, and helps owners who have been in business for years to expand their workforce. I will continue to reach across the aisle to advocate on their behalf so New Hampshire owners can access the capital they need to succeed and grow our state’s economy.”

“Whether it is a leading edge technology startup in San Francisco, a small bakery in Brooklyn or a mom-and-pop diner in Ohio, all small businesses face a common challenge in securing affordable financing,”  said Velázquez. “This program ensures more businesses can access capital to grow, invest in their operations and, ultimately, create jobs. This bill will help yet more entrepreneurs’ access capital, creating greater economic opportunity.  Importantly, I am pleased this bipartisan measure includes a provision allowing the agency flexibility to handle unexpected high demand for loans and guaranteeing there are no interruptions in the flow of capital to small firms.  I thank my colleagues for working in such a bipartisan manner in advancing this bill to enactment.”

The 7(a) loan program is a Small Business Administration (SBA) program that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses access credit to start and grow their businesses when they are unable to get a conventional loan. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, which is now law, preserves the important 7(a) loan program by updating the credit elsewhere test, which is the entry point to the program, increasing oversight of the program and transparency to Congress, and providing flexibility for the Administrator to increase the program’s authorization cap in an emergency. It will ensure the SBA has the tools it needs to oversee this growing program, provide lenders with necessary clarity, and make sure entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to funds they would otherwise not be able to obtain. Read the bill here.

This bill was widely supported in the small business community, including by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU).