Washington, D.C. – In response to President Barack Obama’s announcement today of several new Federal initiatives designed to increase credit to small businesses, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) issued the following statement:
“I am deeply encouraged that President Obama today announced a set of new initiatives designed to bolster the availability of credit to small businesses. These are positive steps that can help entrepreneurs improve and strengthen their businesses. I am particularly pleased that the President adopted my ideas to increase the caps on the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) and 504 loans to $5 million in most instances, and to raise the maximum loan size for microloans from $35,000 to $50,000. These actions will help satisfy the capital needs of small businesses looking to start or expand their operations. They were good ideas when I introduced them nearly a year ago, they were good ideas when I reintroduced them in August, and I am pleased that others, including the President, are on board with these critical initiatives.
“Additionally, although community banks in my state of Maine have done a tremendous job in making capital available to small businesses, I know that credit remains tight across the nation. Accordingly, I am encouraged by the President’s proposal to enable our small banks to access more funds they can, in turn, lend to credit-starved firms and entrepreneurs in the cities and towns they serve. While I will be watching closely to ensure this program is implemented in a manner that safeguards taxpayer funds, it is heartening that the Treasury Department will promote transparency by requiring banks to submit a plan for how they will use borrowed funds to spur small business lending and subsequently report on those activities.”
Senator Snowe has long advocated for policies that will increase access to credit for American entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, Senator Snowe introduced the Next Step for Main Street Credit Availability Act of 2009 to increase the caps on the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) and 504 loans to $5 million in most instances, and to raise the maximum loan size for microloans from $35,000 to $50,000. These provisions were incorporated in President Obama’s plan to further encourage small-business lending in America.
Senator Snowe's bill - the Next Step for Main Street Credit Availability Act of 2009 (S. 1615) - can be viewed by clicking the link below.
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