We have listened to all the talk and carefully monitored information about government efforts with Stimulus I & II and the pending Jobs Bill. We find it odd that there is little/no reference to the SBA (Small Business Administration) in any of these discussions. A review of the SBA report of December 2009 shows that due to the recent Recovery Act the SBA approved $13.6 billion in loans. Unfortunately, the small print footnotes show high percentages of unfunded loans and a balloon of first mortgages. We encourage you to visit the SBA web site www.sba.gov for details. The SBA touts a 29% increase in lending in 2009 due to the Recovery Act but also volunteers a frozen credit market in 2008 as the basis of comparison.
Over decades as owners of small business, bank lenders to small business and consultants we have attempted to work with the SBA. The agency and its bureaucracy have always been difficult to work with. As an example; in the past year our firm attempted to assist a client in securing an SBA loan. After nine months it was finally approved! The client took an alternative bank offering outside of the SBA because it was more timely and advantageous. Discussions with scores of small business people and bankers suggest that this historic story continues to be very common.
We cannot understand why an agency that: is in place, tax payers are currently funding , whose sole purpose is to address stimulus activities for small business and has existing processes is not being pushed front and center to deal with what everyone agrees is the number one priority.
Our goal is not to perpetuate the cynicism and criticism. We applaud the SBA efforts in 2009 but want to encourage a dramatic FAST acceleration of their activity. We encourage you to contact your representatives to aggressively support and fund SBA initiatives. Most importantly, they must ensure that beyond funding the SBA processes, program rules, and guidelines for lending should be streamlined and aggressively marketed.
SBA loans are not gifts. Tax payer funding is repaid and no funding of a new bureaucracy is required. An aggressive acceleration of a streamlined SBA loan initiative would:
- HELP Small Business
- HELP The Banks
- HELP Job Creation
- HELP Our Overall Economy
- HELP us ALL