WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today commented on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new rule to temporarily streamline size standards for businesses eligible to receive 7(a) loans. Sen. Landrieu had previously fought to streamline 7(a) size standards in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and in two separate bills last Congress. The 7(a) program is the SBA’s largest lending program.

“Today’s move by the SBA to streamline size standards for 7(a) loans will make as many as 70,000 more businesses eligible for government-backed loans,” Sen. Landrieu said. “With banks throughout the country tightening lending standards to Main Street businesses, these companies have found it harder and harder to stay open. Increasing 7(a) size standards means more Main Street businesses that have been shut out of traditional lending markets will have the opportunity to utilize provisions of the Recovery Act to grow and strengthen their business.”

The temporary 7(a) loan size standard will parallel the standard for the agency’s 504 Certified Development Company loan, and will allow businesses to qualify based on net worth and average income, according to the SBA. The net worth for the company and its affiliates can’t be in excess of $8.5 million and average net income after federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) for the preceding two completed fiscal years can’t be more than $3 million.