ABC’s Vija Udenans reports: Looking to spur job growth, Pres. Obama proposed the expansion of two Small Business Administration (SBA) lending programs today when he visited Oasis Mechanical Contractors in Lanham, MD. The small business in suburban Maryland has received help from SBA in these economic times.
Obama announced his proposed legislation that “allows firms to refinance their commercial real estate loans, their mortgages under the SBA.”
The Administration is proposing legislation to temporarily allow for the refinancing of owner-occupied commercial real estate (CRE) loans under the SBA’s 504 program, which provides guarantees on loans for the development of real estate and other fixed assets. Currently, 504 loans cannot be used for the refinancing of maturing debt.
He also proposed to temporarily increase the cap on SBA Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million.
Acknowledging “the true engine of job creation will always be businesses,” he added, “We’ve called for legislation to increase SBA loan limits to allow us to guarantee loans of up to $5 million compared with $2 million now.”
With Karen Mills, the SBA Administrator standing by his side, he pointed out, “Over the past 15 years, small businesses have created roughly 65 percent of new jobs in America.”
Pres Obama says the new unemployment numbers, “while positive, are a cause for hope, but not celebration”.
As the jobs data released today showed the unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent for the first time since the summer the President observed, “We are climbing out of the huge hole that we found ourselves in.”
Having made job growth a top priority for the Administration, earlier this week he proposed a new small business lending fund that would take $30 billion of the fund originally used to rescue big banks on Wall Street, and use it to provide lending capital to community banks on Main Street.
Last week Obama proposed a new small business tax credit: $5,000 for every new employee hired this year.
Next week, the Senate will start debating many of the jobs proposals. The president urged them to act quickly and said he was willing to listen and entertain suggestions from both parties.
To point to the urgency, he added, “America’s small businesses are counting on us”.
– Vija Udenans