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posted at Chamber of Commerce.com:

An idea proposed in last year’s State of the Union address, the Small Business Lending Fundproposed by President Obama in early 2010 is finally getting off the ground. The number of loans being given to small businesses has been on the decline since 2008, leaving tens of billions out of reach for businesses around the country. But the Small Business Lend Fund looks to remedy this downshift, with $30 billion being injected into community banks to jumpstart the small business lending scene that’s been in a slump for quite some time.

Response from banks has been strong, which is good news for businesses looking for loans. That said, however, the new fund may not be as effective as Congress initially hoped. Certain Congressional reports implied that banks would lend $10 for every one dollar in received capital, resulting in $300 billion worth of loans. These figures seem rather optimistic and there’s doubt that demand is that high for such loans.

The success of the fund depends heavily on the responsibility of banks, and soon enough we’ll discover whether or not they’ve learned their lessons in regards to distributing poor loans. Banks eligible for the Small Business Lending Fund must have less than $10 billion in assets, and it’s estimated that over 100 banks have already applied. The application deadline for the fund is March 31st, so there’s still time for more banks to get on board. Read the rest of this entry »

The following article was posted in late December, however, we thought it deserved another read.  We especially liked the part about the Small Business Innovation and Research funding bill getting hijacked, taking everything out of it that has to do with small business assistance, and used to pass the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal.  Bravo Congress.

previously posted here:

Two federal programs that help foster small-business innovation have struggled for financial support this year.  The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs limp along from year to year on annual authorizations, waiting for lawmakers to get up the gumption to make their more than $2 billion in funding permanent.

An agreement to reauthorize the funding for a year almost coalesced last summer, but then ground to a halt when the Senate and House couldn’t agree on language that might have helped venture capitalists invest and helped more-established businesses qualify for the funding.

We all know money for innovation and research is always money well-spent. New products and new technologies help drive the economy forward again.
So what’s the holdup? Here’s why this vital funding effort continues to flounder:

Too many bigger problems. This has been a year of big-picture thinking — healthcare reform and big stimulus packages. SBIR kind of got lost in the shuffle. Read the rest of this entry »

As posted at SBECouncil.org:

Most members of Congress exclaim to support small business owners and entrepreneurs through their work on Capitol Hill.  However, when it comes to how U.S. Senators and Representatives actually vote on legislation that impacts the profitability and survivability of small firms, their actions sometimes don’t match up to all the talk.

SBE Council released its Small Business Scorecard for the 111th Congress this week to get beyond the “talk” and posturing. The scorecard can be found on the SBE Council website.  A handy scorecard “quick finder” is also available – a map of the U.S. that allows you to click on your state to see how your U.S. House and Senate Members cumulatively scored on small business KEY VOTES. Read the rest of this entry »

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