WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today as President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act.

 "With two-thirds of new jobs originating from small businesses, ensuring that our small businesses have the resources they need to grow is critical to America's economic recovery," Brown said. "This law is good news for Ohio businesses-like EMC Precision Machining in Elyria and Abstract Displays, Inc. in Cincinnati, both attending today's signing-because it will help small businesses access the credit they need to expand operations and add jobs as soon as possible. It will also provide new tax breaks for those businesses so that they can benefit from this bill-starting today. "

 Passing the Small Business Jobs Act was a top priority of Brown and Senate Democrats. Endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and National Federal of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Small Business Jobs Act creates a $30 billion loan fund-at no cost to taxpayers-to enable community banks to make loans to small businesses seeking to expand operations or hire new workers.

Small business lending is critical to our economic recovery. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans through the Recovery Act have supported more than $26 billion in small business lending, which has helped to create or retain 650,000 jobs. The Small Business Jobs Act would help small business owners access more private capital to finance an expansion and hire new workers. Click here for a summary of the bill's provisions.

Brown, chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, chaired three hearings on access to credit for small businesses and manufacturers. He fought for a provision that would raise SBA loan limits and eliminate 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 increase the caps on some of the most popular SBA loan programs - it increases 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 also increases the government guarantee on 7(a) loan limits, while providing the elimination of borrower fees on 7(a) and 504 loans through December 31, 2010. The provision also increases the 7(a) Express Loans from $300,000 to $1 million to increase working capital to small businesses.  The provision also includes the Intermediary Lending Pilot program, which allows the SBA to make direct loans to eligible nonprofit lending intermediaries which then can lead to new or growing small businesses. SBA has estimated that the loan increase would expand lending to small businesses by $5 billion in the first year.