Small business, the vaunted engine of job growth in America, is being eyed expectantly as a driver of economic recovery. The stimulus legislation signed by President Barack Obama featured a range of provisions and programs meant to spur Small Business Administration activity, including increased loan guarantees, fee waivers and a new loan program aimed at viable businesses seeking a short-term lifeline. In a period of declining revenue, rising unemployment and widespread doubt about whether or when to expand, small businesses and the banks that support them say they could use some breaks.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes what the SBA describes as a package that will help unlock credit markets and begin economic recovery for the nation's small business sector. It includes loan fee reductions, higher guarantees, new programs, secondary market incentives, and enhancements to current offerings. The stimulus also introduced a new SBA loan program, meant to make loans of up to $35,000 available to viable small businesses that qualify for shortterm support. Program details were being developed at publication time, but the loans are expected to carry 100 percent guarantees and to be disbursed over six months. Borrowers would have 12 months from the final disbursement to begin repayment. The loans, as envisioned, could not be used to pay SBA loan obligations incurred before the stimulus bill became law.
Jump-starting the Jobs Engine Tony Telschow Northwestern Financial Review; Apr 1-Apr 14, 2009; 194, 7; Docstoc pg. 8 Reprodu
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