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Public Statements

Small Business Financing And Investment Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CANTOR. Madam Speaker, providing about 70 percent of U.S. jobs, small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. When they struggle, when they contract, when they fail to obtain credit and put capital to work, America struggles. And right now our small businesses are struggling like never before.

With such an ominous backdrop, it is only logical that we do everything in our power to strengthen our small businesses and make it easier for them to create jobs and put people back to work. But as small business owners across this country have told us for months now, Washington is doing the opposite. The wave of newly proposed tax increases, health care mandates, and financial and energy regulations are adding fresh gasoline to the fire. They have created a pervasive state of fear about the future cost of doing business that is enveloping reluctant job creators.

Madam Speaker, if the economy is going to be resurgent, small business owners will have to provide the spark. I know many of us have met with our small business owners over the last several months. I have. I have conducted several small business forums in my district. One of those, in Richmond, I heard the message loud and clear. Small businesses want to expand. They want to hire more workers. They want to invest. But they can barely afford to keep the lights on right now.

The message to me, Madam Speaker, was very clear. Of all times, now is the wrong one for Washington to go and slap more taxes and regulations on us. These small businesses asked me: Why is there such a huge disconnect between what we in the small business community need and what our government thinks we need? Why does Washington spend so extravagantly and fund this spree by squeezing the very people who can create and provide jobs?

The point was this: It was that the misguided policies being brought forward either siphon capital away from small businesses or cause them to hoard capital out of a grave concern. Talk of card check, surtaxes, marginal tax hikes, minimum health coverage mandates, cap-and-trade, et cetera, all of this adds new and unnecessary layers of concern. This concern will harm small business employment, and has, and the number of business establishments and the types of such establishments, such as sole proprietorships, corporations, and partnerships.

Madam Speaker, we will see repercussions in the amount of capital investment small businesses attract; in the number of business formations and failures; and the amount of sales and new orders and investment in plant and equipment because of the very actions being proposed in this House and throughout Washington.

The bill before us today proposes to modify and expand a variety of SBA loan programs. The SBA plays an important part in helping America's small businesses. But let us be clear, Madam Speaker, the vast majority of small businesses do not participate in SBA programs. They rely on community banks, investment capital, and
other forms of credit to start and expand their business. In fact, the Discovery Financial Services small business survey recently found that 90 percent of small businesses report that they have never even applied for an SBA loan. Reports from banks confirm that most small business credit is supplied outside of the SBA. In 2007--the most recent data--banks reported through the CRA that they originated or purchased $329 billion in loans for small businesses. By comparison, Madam Speaker, the SBA averages between $20 billion and $30 billion in lending a year.

Small businesses, whether they use SBA or other sources of financing, will all be impacted by massive tax hikes, regulations, and mandates being proposed currently by the Democratic majority.

Madam Speaker, the bottom line is this. The resulting loans being called for under this bill by the Small Business Administration will not even come close to offsetting the cost to small businesses caused by the concerns businesses have over the majority's agenda in this House. So, Madam Speaker, I suggest this. Abandon your proposals to impose record-high taxes. Abandon the proposals for underfunded mandates on our businesses and costly regulations.

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