October 21, 2009

Pres. Obama: “too little credit flowing to our small businesses”

Not sure if you have heard the news, but President Obama unveiled initiatives to help small businesses get more access to lines of credit.

“There is still too little credit flowing to our small businesses. There are still too many entrepreneurs who can’t get the loan they need to open their doors and start hiring.  There are still too many who are struggling to make payroll and stay open. And there are still too many successful small businesses that want to expand further and hire more but just don’t have the capital to do it.”

I’m singing to the choir here, but this welcome news!  The first government attempt to help small businesses with the current economy was the ARC loan.  Unfortunately the ARC loan has really been a weak band aid without a lot of results.  The amount of paperwork that was required to be able to apply for the $35k-max loan was over the top.  As a result, there were very few banks that really ended up pushing the loan.  We work with hundreds of banks across the United States and very few of them were approving the government-created loan.

Here are the rumored proposals of this change:

  • The maximum size of the SBA 7(a) loans would rise from $2 million to $5 million
  • The maximum size of the SBA 504 loans would rise to $5.5 million
  • The maximum size of SBA microloans would increase from $35,000 to $50,000
  • Community banks with less than $1 billion in assets (which make the bulk of small-business loans) could receive new capital at an initial dividend rate of 3% (the current rate is 5%)
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (they do the bulk of their small business lending in under-served rural areas) would get access to capital at a 2% rate

I’m stoked to hear of the new plans and have been long awaiting an announcement like this.  I, for one, believe that the economy is 99% dependent on the success of small businesses — and so that’s where our focus should lie.  Growing businesses create jobs –> jobs create income –> income purchases homes, consumer products, etc. –> economy gets back on track.

Unfortunately, they haven’t announced a time frame to the roll out.  Let’s hope that it comes sooner than later!