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ICBA Applauds Small Business Committee for Passing SBA Improvements

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauds the members of the House Small Business Committee for passing the Small Business Lending Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 1332). The bipartisan legislation cleared the committee on March 15 and now moves to the full House.

"The SBA reforms passed will better allow small businesses to access needed capital through community banks using the SBA loan programs," said James P. Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of Alpha Community Bank, Toluca, Ill.

Beneficial reforms in the ICBA-backed legislation include:

  • Establishing a 7(a) rural lender outreach program with an 85 percent 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
  • Making permanent the Community Express Program.

ICBA thanks Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) House Small Business Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Ranking Minority Member Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) 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.