Etheridge votes for small business investment act

Washington, D.C. -— U.S. Representatives Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) today voted to support the Small Business Financing and Investment Act which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 389-32.

The legislation will provide small businesses with access to the loans and investment dollars they need to create jobs and strengthen our economy.

“Small businesses are the economic engine of our economy, responsible for more than half of North Carolina’s new employment,” Etheridge said. “This legislation will provide credit to small businesses in North Carolina so that they can continue grow and create jobs.”

99.7 percent of all employers are small businesses, and they create 60 to80 percent of America’s new jobs annually. The current economic crisis has frozen credit and made it difficult for American small businesses to get the financing they need. The Small Business Financing and Investment Act updates the Small Business Administration’s capital access initiatives to support $44 billion in lending and investment for smaller firms.

In order to better meet businesses needs this legislation increases loan sizes and includes incentives to encourage local banks to lend to small businesses. The bill also:

  • Creates a new public/private partnership to expand investments in small business startups — an important source of job creation;
  • Extends critical Recovery Act provisions eliminating fees on Small Business Administration loans and guaranteeing up to 90% of 7(a) loans; and
  • Promotes loan and development involvement among a diverse mix of businesses, including businesses owned by veterans, women and rural small businesses.
  • “During this time of financial stress, this legislation will help small businesses continue to provide the economic base for North Carolina’s families and communities,” Etheridge said. “By helping companies get access to capital, they will overcome one of their biggest current challenges, and it will allow them to create jobs and help our economy.”