The Small Business Administration has implemented only two of the eight provisions that were included in the economic stimulus bill to boost lending to small firms.
On March 16, the SBA eliminated fees on the agency’s 7(a) and 504 loans, and increased the maximum government guarantee on 7(a) loans from 85 percent to90 percent. The actions have stimulated SBA lending; the agency is approving28 percent more loans each week than it was before the changes.
In June, the agency plans to implement two programs that aim to revive the secondary market. The agency will make loans to broker-dealers who purchase the guaranteed portion of 7(a) loans from lenders, and then pool and sell them to investors. The agency also will guarantee pools of first-lien 504 loans sold on the secondary market.
“The need to act with speed is being balanced with the need to assure that significant risks to the agency that might arise through Recovery Act projects are systematically and effectively identified, evaluated and addressed where appropriate,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills wrote. “In doing so, we believe we are fulfilling our responsibility to small businesses, to our lending partners, and to the taxpayers.”
Photo by SBA.