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How Can the SBA Help Your Spa?

Posted: September 8, 2010

page 4 of 7

Now the president has asked Congress to do even more because there are still gaps in the recovery and not every small business has access to all the credit they need and all the other tools they need to grow. We have a proposal before Congress that has strong bipartisan support to have a small-business jobs bill. And that should be coming forward soon.

What would that bill do?

We have asked Congress to continue the successful Recovery Act 90% [loan] guarantees and fee elimination through the end of the year. We have also asked Congress to raise our loan limits to $5 million. Right now, they are at $2 million. There are a lot of companies--manufacturers, franchises--that need the larger loan size and the players in the market that used to provide that type of funding, some of them are still absent, so we need to fill that gap. Understanding that banks are going to need credit support, we've also asked for the ability to use our 504 program [which provides businesses financing to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization] to refinance owner-occupied real estate.

So the dentist that owns the dentist office or the manufacturer that owns the warehouse will be able to, using this proposed 504 product, get that mortgage renewed.

How can the SBA have the strongest effect on small business in America?

At the SBA we're responsible for making sure that 23% of all [federal] government contracts go to small business and that's about $100 billion a year. So this has a very important effect on all small businesses, and we have special programs for veteran-owned small businesses, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses and women-owned small businesses, so we can give them what we call the oxygen--the revenue--they need to grow.

Is that 23% target being met?

Last year we really focused on the Recovery Act and making sure small businesses had their share of those Recovery Act contracts, and I'm happy to say we are actually well ahead of our goal on Recovery Act contracts. We're at 29%.