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Small Business Jobs And Credit Act Of 2010

Rep. John D. Dingell

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Mr. Chair, I rise in support of H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act. I want to thank the Chairmen of the Financial Services and Small Business Committees, Representatives Barney Frank, D-MA, and Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, respectively, for their leadership in bringing to bear this jobs-creating measure and Congressman Gary Peters, D-MI, for providing critical guidance for Michigan on the bill as it moved forward.

Today, we are, voting on legislation that will encourage lending to small businesses and in-turn job creation. First, H.R. 5297 sets up a $30 billion small business lending fund for small- and medium-sized community banks, which could leverage up to $300 billion in lending. The fund encourages small business lending by decreasing the interest rate at which the loan is paid back when the bank expands lending to small businesses. Second, the bill creates a State Small Business Credit Initiative to be administered by the Treasury Department which would provide funding for new or existing state lending programs. It is estimated the new Credit Initiative would create an estimated $20 billion in new lending. Finally, H.R. 5297 contains a provision to restart private investment to meet small businesses' evolving financing needs through a new SBA public-private partnership.

While the Democratic Congress blunted the downward spiral of our economy that was born out of Bush administration policy, our unemployment rate still hovers around 9.5 percent nationwide and around 14 percent in Michigan. It is clear that we can and must do more to ensure our government continues to put the economy on the path to recovery. In particular, small businesses must have access to capital so they can expand and hire workers. In the beginning of this month at a Federal Reserve Bank meeting in Detroit, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke highlighted this need as he called on banks to lend to small businesses ``for the safety and soundness of our banking system.'' This legislation fulfills the need articulated not only by Mr. Bernanke and other leading economists, but by small businesses in the 15th district such as our automotive suppliers and manufacturers, high tech start ups, and innovative alternative energy firms. I have listened to the concerns of small businesses in my district about the lack of available credit and with the passage of this bill we are taking action to address their concerns.

The statistic has been cited many times before, but it is worth remembering that small businesses have created two-thirds of net new jobs over the past 15 years. Let's help our small businesses help grow our economy by passing this important legislation. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting ``yes'' on H.R. 5297.