A new requirement by the Obama administration will hopefully spur the 21 largest banks receiving U.S. government money to lend more to small businesses.
The new rules, outlined in a March 16 Associated Press story, have those banks reporting monthly on how much they lend to small businesses. All others are being called upon to make an “extra effort” to boost small business lending.
The announcements came March 16 as part of a broad package aimed at small business that was being unveiled by President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the AP said. The package also includes reduced small business lending fees and an increase on the guarantee to some Small Business Administration loans.
“We know that small businesses are the engine of growth in the economy, and we absolutely want to do things to help them,” Christina Romer, who heads the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told the wire service. “There are already a lot of things to help them in the recovery package, and some of what will be coming out are the things that were in the recovery package: increasing the SBA loan guarantees, lowering fees.”
Republicans appeared to embrace the efforts, but with some qualifications.
U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of Georgia said: “We’ve got to do something to help these small-business people. We know that they’re the job creators in this economy. And the problem … I think we’re seeing out of the Obama administration is a lack of focus on how to get things going again.”
The new measures have the government stepping in to buy loans, temporarily eliminate upfront fees of up to 3.75 percent and some processing charges on certain SBA loans typically passed along to borrowers, the AP said. It also increases the government guarantees on certain loans to 90 percent, up from 85 percent for loans below $150,000 and 75 percent for larger loans.
This article was submitted by Kathleen O’Connor, a contributing writer for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that provides entrepreneurs with the latest industry news and financial advice. Send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.