Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today issued the following statement regarding the remarkable increase in Small Business Administration (SBA) lending to Maine businesses in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2010:

“These tremendous numbers represent a positive trend in helping break the access to capital logjam facing small firms,” said Senator Snowe.  “I am pleased that, working with members of the Senate and House Small Business Committees, we were able to include critical provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last February that have directly led to the upswing we are witnessing today.  The simple fact is that more loans to small businesses equal a critical lifeline for these companies to expand, create jobs, and move our economy forward, and I am hopeful that these numbers will continue in future quarters.”

According to the SBA’s Maine District Office, there was an increase of 167 percent in the number of guaranteed loans to small businesses in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 over the same quarter of 2009, with 187 businesses receiving SBA-backed loans versus 70 a year ago.  Additionally, loan amounts in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 totaled $36,049,300, up 301 percent from the $8,969,000 reported this time last year.