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Small Business Wins -- SBA Loan Program Funding Restored in House

ICBA Praises Rep. Manzullo and Velázquez for Winning Amendment

Washington, D.C. (July 7, 2004) - Small businesses now have a better chance of securing the financing they need to start or grow their businesses and create jobs, thanks to a winning amendment passed in the House of Representatives today. The ICBA praised House Small Business Committee Chairman Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) for their sponsorship of a winning amendment to preserve the Small Business Administration's most successful lending program.

"The ICBA was delighted to provide the grassroots support for Reps. Manzullo and Velázquez in their efforts to help lenders and small business borrowers maintain needed access to capital," stated Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "Community banks widely use the SBA 7(a) guaranteed lending program to provide thousands of loans to new and growing small businesses every year."

The 2005 budget and the SBA had proposed zero-funding for the 7(a) loan program. The Manzullo-Velázquez floor amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and State Departments' appropriations bill provided $79 million for the SBA's popular 7(a) loan guarantee program in FY 2005.

"This funding will be leveraged by commercial lenders to allow some $14 billion in financing for our nation's small businesses and provide continued stimulus for our local economies," stated Merski. "Supporting the SBA's 7(a) program means more than 90,000 small businesses will benefit from lenders making SBA loans, creating or retaining up to 500,000 jobs for hard-working Americans."

Currently, the SBA 7(a) program is successfully leveraged to provide nearly one-third of all long-term capital funding for small businesses. Without an adequate appropriation for this program, thousands of small businesses would be unable to access the capital they need to start and grow their businesses and to hire new employees. This House-approved SBA budget must still pass Senate appropriations process in the weeks ahead.