WASHINGTON (June 18, 2010)—By a 241-182 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Small Business Lending Fund Act, which would set up a $30 billion government fund for community banks to increase lending to small businesses.
The small business lending bill also would create a State Small Business Credit Initiative that would allocate $2 billion in federal funds to states that have capital access programs for small businesses. This initiative would allow portfolio insurance on loans of up to $5 million for companies with 500 or fewer employees, according to the bill's text.
Under the bill's provisions, the Small Business Administration would be authorized to match up to $1 billion in private investment in small, startup companies.
Passage of the House bill was praised by associations representing small businesses, including the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association. Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO, said the bill and its provisions are necessary to increase credit availability down through the smallest manufacturers, especially parts suppliers.
The bill now goes to the Senate.