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ICBA Testifies to Ensure Small Business Sector is Focus of Economic Recovery Plan

Washington, D.C. (January 14, 2009)— The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today urged policymakers to keep a sharp focus on the needs of our nation’s small business sector as they craft an economic recovery plan. Testifying before the House Small Business Committee, ICBA recommended flexibility for S corporations, improved community bank access to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) programs, and additional tax incentives to help small businesses recover and thrive across America.

“As turmoil in the broad credit markets and economy jeopardizes the viability of small business, our country’s more than 8,000 community banks are well-positioned to help our nation’s small businesses and economy get back on track,” said Paul Merski, ICBA senior vice president and chief economist.

Merski said that in order for small businesses and community banks to raise private sector capital during these challenging times, flexibility for the nation’s four million S corporations is needed and urged the following:

  • Increasing the maximum number of allowable S corporation shareholders to 150 from 100
  • Allowing IRAs as eligible S corporation shareholders
  • Permitting the issuance of preferred stock for all S corporations

Merski also called for immediate fair value accounting relief and fiscal incentives for small businesses, including expanded SBA lending and expanding the current Net Operation Loss Carryback (NOL) period to five years from two years.

These proposals will help boost small business resources to help weather the economic downturn and support investment and employment in communities at a time when capital is needed most.

To read the full testimony, and see ICBA economic recovery recommendations visit www.icba.org.