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Rep. Clarke Applauds New SBA Programs

Last week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the creation of the “Small Loan Advantage” and “Community Advantage.”  These two programs are aimed at increasing access to capital in underserved communities.  
“The recent economic downturn has affected all businesses, however, Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) and small businesses that serve economically disadvantaged areas have had extreme difficulty in attaining the access to capital needed to help bring around the economy,” Rep. Clarke stated. “That’s why I was pleased to hear SBA Administrator Karen Mills announce the creation of Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage, aimed at addressing this very urgent need.”
Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage will provide a streamlined application process for SBA 7(a) loans up to $250,000.  The SBA will guarantee 85% of loans up to $150,000 and 75% of loans greater than $150,000.  Lenders for the Small Loan Advantage will be limited to participants of the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program, however, Community Advantage is open to mission-focused lenders including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), non-profit Certified Development Companies and SBA-approved micro-lending intermediaries.  Community Advantage lenders will also be expected to maintain at least 60% of their SBA loan portfolio in underserved markets.  
“As a Member of the House Small Business Committee, I have worked with my colleagues on the committee as well as the SBA and the CDFI Fund to ensure that underserved communities have access to capital as we continue to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,” Rep. Clarke said.  “I applaud SBA Administrator Mills for addressing programs that weren’t living up to programmatic missions due to inefficiency and unnecessary bureaucracy.  I also applaud her vision for including CDFIs in this program and for recognizing the crucially important role CDFIs play in economic growth.  Together, these two new programs will help ensure that all small businesses are able to reinvest in their communities.  I look forward to working with SBA in the 112th Congress as these programs are fully implemented.”