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House Passes Legislation To Help Small Businesses

Press Release

Location: Washington D.C.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree managed the procedural debate on the House floor today for a bill that will help create jobs by making more tools and investment financing and capital available to small businesses. The Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009 passed the House today.

"This is a bill that will support small businesses when they need it most by helping them access the investments they need to survive, to grow, to expand, and to create the jobs that will drive our economic recovery," Pingree said in her testimony on the House floor today.

Pingree authored an amendment to the bill that would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to study significantly increasing the size of most loans they guarantee, and report back to Congress.

"One of the things I've often heard from businesses in Maine is that SBA loans are too small," Pingree said. "It's time the limits were significantly increased and I hope this is the first step toward accomplishing that."

Recently President Obama joined the call to increase SBA loans from $2 million to $5 million.

By modernizing the SBA capital access programs for the first time in 10 years, the bill will unlock lending and investment for cash-strapped entrepreneurs, allowing them to expand their operations and hire new workers.

Measures in the bill include:

· An amendment by Congresswoman Pingree directing the SBA to study increasing the size of small-business loans it guarantees;

· Supporting $44 billion in lending and investment every year, helping create or save 1.3 million jobs annually;

· Establishing a new public/private partnership at the SBA to invest in fledgling small businesses; and

· Providing increased technical assistance to recipients of microloans, an important source of capital for dislocated workers looking to launch their own businesses.

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