Bipartisan measures that will help small businesses grow and create jobs expected to soon become law

(Washington, DC) – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, successfully included two bipartisan bills to help small businesses in the end-of-year “omnibus” agreement to fund the government that was revealed late last night. The two bills -- the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act and the Small Business Investment Company Capital Act – will boost the availability of credit to small businesses.

“I’m glad we have been able to work in a bipartisan way to address one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses – getting access to credit so they can reach their full potential,” said Shaheen. “I’m particularly grateful to my colleagues for working with me to pass the CREED Act, which will finally re-instate the SBA’s successful 504 Refi program to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Now that our legislation is on track to become law, this program will soon be up and running, helping small businesses thrive. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in New Hampshire and I’m very pleased that they will soon have this option for accessing affordable credit.”

The CREED Act re-instates the “504 Refi” program of the Small Business Administration, allowing small businesses to refinance existing qualified commercial real estate debt and help lower monthly mortgage payments. The program can be used to help small businesses lower monthly mortgage payments and rescue companies from ballooning loans and demand notes that threaten their existence as well as the jobs of their employees. The program is fully funded through participant fees.

Shaheen recently visited QC Precision in Salem to highlight the importance of the bill and has been fighting to re-instate the program for years. In 2012, Shaheen invited Granite State Economic Development Corporation’s Scott Gardiner to testify in support of reauthorizing the program, citing the “ongoing challenges in the commercial real estate market” and his first-hand experience working with small businesses in New Hampshire. Gardiner noted that there were nearly 400 applications representing over $424 million in small business loans that the SBA could not process due to the expiration of the program.

The Small Business Investment Company Capital Act will invigorate the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program, a public-private partnership that provides small businesses access to equity and debt financing. The program has provided billions in private capital to startups and small businesses, some of which have become household names such as Pandora, Whole Foods, Apple, and Nike. The Small Business Investment Company Capital Act would allow experienced managers of multiple SBIC funds to increase their leverage from $225 million to $350 million, helping these entities provide additional capital to small businesses.

The omnibus bill is expected to pass both the House and Senate this week and be signed into law by the President.