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ICBA Commends Lawmakers for Advancing SBA Improvements, Small Businesses to Benefit

Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commends Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill), House Small Business Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Ranking Minority Member Steve Chabot (R-OH) for advancing the Small Business Lending Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 1332). The bill is scheduled for markup by the full House Small Business Committee on Thursday, March 15.

"ICBA supports this small business friendly legislation. It will enhance the successful SBA 7(a) and 504 loan programs to the benefit of individuals and small businesses served by community banks," said James P. Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of Alpha Community Bank, Toluca, Ill. "This bill will greatly improve the ability of small businesses to access needed capital through community banks using the SBA loan programs."

The SBA 7(a) and 504 loan programs provide nearly 40% of all the long-term small business lending. Beneficial reforms in the ICBA-backed legislation include:

  • Establishing an enhanced 7(a) low documentation program with an 85% guarantee for loans up to $250,000
  • Supporting combined 7(a) and 504 financing
  • Allowing borrower and lender fees to be reduced commensurate with an appropriation
  • Supporting greater regional SBA office resources for non-PLP lenders
  • Extending the alternative small business size standards currently available under the 504 program to the 7(a) program.

ICBA applauds Reps. Bean, Velazquez and Chabot for advancing this beneficial SBA program reform legislation. The bill includes key recommendations outlined in ICBA's testimony during a hearing of the Small Business Committee held on March 1.