WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today praised the Senate’s extension of two important Recovery Act provisions: increased government guarantees and eliminated fees on small business loans. The measure - as well as a tax credit to help reservist employers - passed as part of the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, the second in a series of bills that are part of the Senate’s jobs agenda.

“Not only are the increased government guarantees and eliminated fees on small business loans being extended through the end of the year, but to ensure the programs do not run out of funding prematurely, I have worked hard to fully fund these programs at $620 million,” Sen. Landrieu said. “While the provisions have already helped provide $18.2 billion in lending to more than 40,000 small businesses and helped to create more than 500,000 jobs in the last year, there are still many more small businesses that need loans. Funding the programs through the end of the year will help meet that demand and also help create or save hundreds of thousands of jobs. I’d like to thank Senators Baucus and Durbin for working with me to make sure this important provision was fully funded in this jobs bill.”

Chair Landrieu, along with Ranking Member Olympia Snowe, included an extension of these provisions as part of S. 2869, The Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act, that was voted out of Committee in early December. To read more about the bill, please click here.

The bill also included a provision that extends through 2010 a tax credit for small businesses that pay the salary differential to reservist employees called up for active duty. This small business tax credit provides incentive for small employers to eliminate any pay gap between civilian and military pay.

“As our soldiers serve far from home, they often take a cut in pay by switching from civilian to military payroll, leaving families to tighten their belts at an already tough time,” Sen. Landrieu said. “This is not right. Our brave soldiers should not be penalized for serving America, nor should the small business owners who want to help their employees but are already suffering in these harsh economic times. With the extension of this important tax credit, our soldiers, their families, and the small businesses they work for will be protected from the fiscal burdens that come with active duty.”

Senator Landrieu was a co-sponsor of the measure, originally introduced by Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., in November 2009. To read more about the provision, please click here.