Today, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, announced President Obama has signed into law the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act (H.R.2499), which included an amendment authored by Vitter. Vitter’s legislation preserves the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan guaranty program, which had reached its statutory cap on its lending authority last week.
“Access to capital is one of the most crucial elements for the success of a small business, which is why I am glad to see my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in both chambers work together to pass my legislation preserving this important SBA program,” said Vitter. “American small businesses will see immediate benefits of our legislation becoming law once the SBA’s loan guaranty program starts up again today.”
Vitter, along with Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), introduced and passed an amendment earlier this year that waives all fees on SBA loans to veterans and preserves the 7(a) loan guaranty program through the end of the fiscal year. This legislation also implements reforms to protect the taxpayer and ensures heightened Congressional scrutiny of the loan program. The House passed the legislation with the Senate amendment Monday evening by voice vote.
The SBA’s 7(a) loan program is the entity’s flagship loan program for small businesses. The program operates at a zero subsidy from the taxpayers due to the underwriting process and fees associated with the program. CBO has indicated there is no cost associated with lifting the cap.