Sen. Brown Statement on Passage of Small Business Jobs Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Senate passage of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement:

"I’ve met too many small businesses around Ohio who want to hire new workers and expand operations, but can’t access the credit they need. Small businesses are engines of job creation and will drive our economic recovery,” Brown said. “While Wall Street banks and our largest financial institutions are back in the black – thanks to the help of taxpayers – they are sitting on huge stockpiles of cash. Thanks to my colleague Sen. Voinovich, we broke the Republican opposition to this bill so that more small businesses – which create nearly two-thirds of new jobs in our country – can access the credit they need to expand operations and hire new workers.”

Sixty-five percent of new jobs originate in small businesses, making small business lending critical to our economic recovery. Passing the Small Business Jobs Act was a top priority of Brown and Senate Democrats. While it has been pending in the Senate since June 18, it has been filibustered and blocked by its opponents. Endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and National Federal of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Small Business Jobs Act would create 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 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.

During the State Work Period in August and September, Brown traveled around Ohio meeting with small business owners and workers as part of his "Made in Ohio Tour." With the top priority of creating Ohio jobs, Brown is fighting for a multi-pronged effort to promote economic development. The key components of Senator Brown's jobs strategy are:

•    Promoting the expansion of Ohio businesses by strengthening small business lending programs and aiding President Obama's goal to significantly boost U.S. exports.
•    Transitioning away from our dependence on foreign oil to a clean energy future in which jobs are centered in the small businesses, manufacturing facilities, and universities of Ohio.
•    Developing Ohio's workforce so that Ohioans are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century and revitalizing the state's infrastructure to attract those global industries.
•    Making sure that Ohio industry isn't undermined due to unfair trade by pursuing remedies to counteract China's currency manipulation and subsidization of domestic industries.

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