IN FIRST MARKUP OF 114th CONGRESS, SMALL BUSINESS RANKING MEMBER SHAHEEN APPLAUDS PROGRESS ON LEGISLATION
Bills approved includes three of Shaheen’s that provide small businesses access to affordable credit
(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held its first legislative markup of the 114th Congress and approved 8 bills unanimously for consideration by the full Senate. Following the hearing, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the newly appointed Ranking Member of the Committee, congratulated the Chairman and the Committee on the quick progress that has already been made in advancing legislation to help the nation’s small businesses:
“Small Businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it’s our job on this Committee to make sure they’re getting the support they need to grow and create jobs,” said Senator Shaheen. “Over 96 percent of New Hampshire’s employers are small businesses and that’s why the Small Business Administration and its programs are so important to the Granite State. The bills approved today reflect the urgent attention that our Committee pays to the needs of small businesses and will provide them with additional opportunities to succeed.”
Three of the bills voted out of Committee, are bipartisan proposals introduced by Shaheen and would help provide small businesses with access to affordable credit.
The Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development Act of 2015 (CREED Act), was introduced by Shaheen and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and supported by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Deb Fischer (R-NE). The bill would re-instate what’s known as the “504 Refi” program which allows small businesses to refinance existing qualified commercial real estate debt. This loan program can be used to help small businesses lower monthly mortgage payments and rescue companies from ballooning loans and demand notes that threaten their existence as well as the jobs of their employees. The program is fully funded through participant fees.
The Communication Lender Activity Reports from the Small Business Administration Act (CLEAR Act), was introduced by Shaheen and is supported by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Gary Peters (D-MI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). This bill would make Small Business Administration (SBA) lending more transparent by making key decision-making information for borrowers available in a user-friendly database.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, was introduced by Shaheen and is supported by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Angus King (I-ME), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Gary Peters (D-MI). This bill would permanently make SBA loans less expensive for veterans in the Express loan program by waiving loan fees. Providing additional fee waivers for veteran-owned small businesses is a simple and effective way of supporting veteran entrepreneurship. The legislation would also establish thorough reviews of existing SBA programs to better serve veterans before and after deployment, women veterans, National Guard members and reservists. The bill is supported by the American Legion, the National Guard Association of the U.S., the Military Officers Association of America, the Green Beret Foundation and others.