Tammy Duckworth Pushes Bill to get Small Businesses Financing
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is aiming to help more small businesses -- particularly women, veterans, low-income, and minority entrepreneurs -- that may have been overlooked by traditional commercial lenders. She introduced the Microloan Program Expansion Act earlier this month, which she says would improve the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, yet many of them struggle to access the capital they need to start or grow,” said Duckworth, a member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “My legislation would improve the bipartisan microloan program to help more small business owners and entrepreneurs in both rural and urban communities get the financing they need to succeed.” Most small business owners seek small loans to grow their companies, with 55% of all small businesses seeking loans under $100,000. However, a Harvard white paper found the largest gaps in financing are for loans under $50,000. Since 1992, the SBA Microloan Program has helped fill that gap by providing small business owners with access to loans of less than $50,000. Duckworth’s bill would increase the total amount of loans that lenders may keep on their books, eliminate an outdated rule that prevents SBA from distributing more than 1/55th of its funding in any given state during the first half of the year, and require SBA to report to Congress and the public on the success of the microloan program. More here.