WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today welcoming Vice President Joe Biden and head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Karen Mills, to Ohio. Biden and Mills will visit Wrap-Tite, Inc. in Solon to discuss the importance of President Barack Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act for small businesses in Ohio and across the country.
“I’m proud to welcome the Vice President and Administrator Mills to Solon today, where they will have the opportunity to see how Ohio’s small businesses are leading the way in innovation and new development,” Brown said. “Thanks to a loan from the SBA, Wrap-Tite has been able to add jobs and make critical investments to grow its operations.
“The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act was a critical first step to helping small businesses obtain access to the credit they need to expand. It also gave small businesses increased tax credits for investments and enhanced export opportunities,” Brown continued. “The President’s proposed American Jobs Act will build upon that bill by helping create and protect jobs at small businesses, while allowing Ohio workers to take home more of their pay. All components of the President’s plan have had bipartisan support and will not add to the deficit—which is why Republicans and Democrats in Congress should work together to pass this important legislation as soon as possible.”
Since 2009, Brown's office has held more than two dozen small business forums, helping to connect more than 2,500 Ohioans to federal resources that help small businesses.
Sixty-five percent of new jobs originate in small businesses, making small business lending critical to our economic recovery. But small business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital.
To address this challenge, Brown was instrumental in passing the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, which created the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF.) The SBLF enables community banks to make loans to small businesses seeking to expand operations or hire new workers. The SBLF helps small businesses gain access to capital by providing capital to community banks that hold under $10 billion in assets. The dividend rate a community bank pays on SBLF funding is reduced as that bank increases its lending to small businesses—providing a strong incentive for new small business lending so they can expand and create jobs.
Brown fought for a provision in the Small Business Jobs Act that raises SBA loan limits and eliminates certain fees, which is based in part on his Small Business Emergency Loan Relief Act. Because many Ohio small businesses are in the manufacturing industry, they require higher loan limits due to higher capital costs in the industry. Brown's provision would have increased the caps on some of the most popular SBA loan programs - increasing 7(a) loan limits from $2 million to $5 million, 504 loans from $1.5 million to $5.5 million, and microloans from $35,000 to $50,000. It would also increase the government guarantee on 7(a) loan limits, while eliminating borrower fees on 7(a) and 504 loans.
Brown also worked alongside then-Governor Ted Strickland to pass a separate provision, known as the State Small Business Credit Initiative. The SSBCI provides funds for the next 10 years in grants for states to support small business lending programs. Under the SSBCI, participating states will use the federal funds for programs that leverage private lending to help finance small businesses and manufacturers that are creditworthy, but are not getting the loans they need to expand and create jobs. The SSBCI will allow states to build on successful models for state small business programs, including collateral support programs, Capital Access Programs (CAPs) and loan guarantee programs. Brown fought to ensure that the fund allows for states to assist small businesses with collateral support, an initiative that has been successful in bolstering the State of Michigan's manufacturing industry.