WASHINGTON – Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, today made the following comments in regard to President Obama’s small business proposals to help create jobs:

“While small businesses have borne the brunt of this downturn, they are also the ones who have the greatest potential to speed up our recovery and create jobs,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I applaud President Obama for his continued focus to aid small businesses and for supporting the refinancing of small business real estate loans, a proposal that closely matches one I originally introduced as part of S.2869, The Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act. Many viable small businesses now face a new hurdle, finding refinancing on their maturing real estate debt, without a fully-functional commercial real estate market. The President’s proposal and my bill will help these businesses weather the latest storm. I am looking forward to hearing more details about the President’s proposals and working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to implement the critical provisions within S.2869.”

“I thank President Obama for turning his attention squarely to providing small businesses with the critical tools they require to lead a robust economic recovery,” said Ranking Member Snowe. “It is essential that we continue our efforts on a bipartisan basis to help these firms stay in business and focus on the urgent tasks of growing our economy and creating jobs. I also reiterate my call that the President consider promoting additional cost-effective measures contained in both the lending and exporting legislation this Committee recently passed to get our nation’s economy back on track.”

Senators Landrieu and Snowe introduced and passed out of Committee in December S. 2869, The Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act. Similar to President Obama’s proposal today, the bill allows the 504 loan program to refinance short-term commercial real estate debt into long-term, fixed-rate loans. It would also raise the cap on small business loans and extend critical Recovery Act measures to temporarily eliminate borrower fees and increase loan guarantees, which are part of President Obama’s small business job-creation agenda. Together, these provisions are expected to be budget neutral, support $18.5 billion in additional loans by the end of the fiscal year and could produce more than 225,000 jobs. To read more about the bill, please click here.

The Senators wrote a letter to the President earlier this week asking him to support their bill. To read the letter, please click here.

To learn more about President Obama’s proposal, please click here.