SHAHEEN JOINS PRESIDENT OBAMA AT WHITE HOUSE, APPLAUDS STEPS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

At White House last Friday, Shaheen discussed challenges facing small businesses with President Obama, urged him to expedite measures to make small business loans less expensive

March 16, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined President Obama at the White House today where he discussed his administration’s commitment to provide crucial aid to small businesses hard hit by the slumping economy. At the White House last Friday, Shaheen urged Obama to expedite the implementation of provisions authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to make credit more available to small businesses. Today, the President announced that his administration would enact that measure and increase loan guarantees.

 

“From my conversations with business owners and economic leaders across the state, I know we need to take swift action to support small businesses if we are going to turn our economy around,” said Shaheen.  “Small businesses are the foundation of New Hampshire’s economy, and on Friday I urged the President to enact without delay measures to help small businesses get greater access to loans. I’m pleased he has acted so quickly to ensure that small businesses receive the support they need during this economic crisis.”

 

Shaheen, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, supported provisions in the ARRA that authorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make credit more available and less expensive to small businesses. The SBA announced immediate implementation of two of those provisions today, one to temporarily eliminate certain loan fees and another to raise guarantees on some 7(a) loans to 90 percent. These policies will make much-needed capital accessible for small businesses across the country.

 

“An SBA guarantee can make the difference between a bankable and un-bankable loan application,” said Jerry Little, President of the New Hampshire Bankers Association. “The fees that must be paid by borrowers are a hurdle in the current process. Because addressing this fee issue should help more small business in New Hampshire access the credit, Senator Shaheen’s efforts to do so are moving us in a positive direction.”

 

Over the last month, Shaheen has met with small business owners and economic development leaders across the state. On Saturday, she hosted a roundtable with over 20 North Country economic and community leaders in Berlin to discuss unique economic challenges facing North Country residents and businesses, the work Shaheen has already done to benefit the North Country, and the path toward rebuilding the region’s economy.

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Alex Reese