February 14, 2003
The Honorable Hector V. Barreto Jr.
Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20416
Dear Mr. Barreto:
On behalf of the 5,000 members of the Independent Community Bankers of America, we appreciate your continued support for the highly successful and much needed small business lending programs. Specifically, since Congress has increased funding to support greater SBA 7(a) lending in the Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, community bank lenders urge you to reverse SBA's recent dramatic shift in the 7(a) loan program policy, which slashed the maximum size of the loan amount from $2 million to $500,000.
Restoring this original loan limit will dramatically expand the needed capital available to thousands of small and growing businesses that specifically need and benefit from larger-sized loans. Additionally, increasing the available loan size reduces the break-even cost-benefit threshold for granting loans and thus can improve overall small business lending. Small businesses remain the engines for new job creation and economic growth, and community-based financial institutions play a critical role in providing small business lending nationwide. We urge that the important flexibility granted by the $2 million loan amount maximum be restored.
Kenneth A. Guenther
President & CEO
Sen. Olympia Snowe, Chair, Senate Small Business Committee
Sen. John F. Kerry, Ranking Member, Senate Small Business Committee
Rep. Don Manzullo, Chairman, House Small Business Committee
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Ranking Member, House Small Business Committee