Today U.S. Representative Gary Peters applauded a new Department of Treasury report which showed that a program he got signed into law is having a major impact in helping small businesses grow. In 2010, Peters helped write and pass the Small Business Jobs Act which resulted in a $190 million increase in small business lending in Michigan and more than $5 billion across America. In a letter thanking Congressman Peters for his "leadership" on this effort, President Obama called the Small Business Jobs Act "the most significant step on behalf of our small businesses in more than a decade." This new Treasury report further underscores how successful this program has been.
"I helped write and pass the Small Business Jobs Act to make sure Michigan's small businesses could access the capital they need to grow and create jobs and now we have proof that it is working," said Rep. Gary Peters. "Because small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, I proudly worked with President Obama to get this important legislation signed into law. There's still a lot of work left to be done to strengthen our local economy, but I'll never stop working to help our small businesses succeed."
According to the report, banks participating in the Small Business Lending Fund have increased their small business lending by $5.2 billion. In Michigan, participating banks have increased their small business lending by more than $190 million. Almost seventy percent of banks participating nationwide have increased their small business lending by ten percent or more. Every participant in Michigan has increased lending by more than ten percent and, in most cases, far exceeding that target:
* Birmingham Bloomfield Bancshares, Inc. in Birmingham increased small business lending by 21.0%;
* Crestmark Bancorp, Inc. in Troy increased small business lending by 73.9%;
* Huron Valley State Bank in Milford increased small business lending by 32.6%;
* Level One Bancorp, Inc. in Farmington Hills increased small business lending by 32.6%; and
* Valley Financial Group, Ltd. of Saginaw increased small business lending by 13.7%.
In September 2009, U.S. Rep. Peters was the first Member of Congress to call for the creation of a lending fund for smaller lenders, publishing an op-ed in The Hill on the need to spur more small business lending through community banks.
In November 2009, U.S. Rep. Peters convened a field hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in Michigan to hear directly from small businesses and community banks about the need to spur small business lending and strategies for doing so.
Following that field hearing, U.S. Rep. Peters authored a letter signed onto by other Members of Congress calling for the Treasury Department to undertake solutions advocated by witnesses at the hearing, including partnering with community banks to spur small business lending.
In January 2010 President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he was calling on Congress to pass legislation redirecting funding away from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and using it to help spur small business lending.
In September 2010, just one year from the time U.S. Rep. Peters called for the creation of a small business lending fund, the Small Business Jobs Act was signed into law. The bill was authored in the Financial Services Committee, of which Peters is a member.