On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into effect a new law directed at helping small businesses survive and grow in this economy. The most useful provisions of the Act, in my opinion, are those directed at making it easier for small businesses to obtain bank financing. Businesses borrow money when they want to grow, which in turn leads to job creation. Therefore, lending to small businesses can have a positive impact on lowering the unemployment rate. In particular, the Act:
- provides $30 billion in cheap capital to community banks for use in making loans to small businesses;
- temporarily raises the government guarantee on certain Small Business Administration’s loans to 90% and waives fees on 7(a) and 504 loans;
- increases the size limits on various SBA loans (for example, a maximum $5 million 7(a) loan instead of a $2 million one); and
- allows temporary refinancing of unfavorable terms on commercial real estate loans through the SBA’s 504 program.
A link to the full text of the Act is below:
However, the Act also has its critics. See yesterday’s article posted by Barbara Weltman (link below). Ms. Weltman makes some valid observations about whether small businesses will actually be able to use all of the resources now available to them. My favorite point made by Ms. Weltman is that the most effective way to help small businesses is by actually listening to their problems (such as high regulatory compliance costs) and then creating regulation directed at solving those precise problems.