Everyone seems to be cognizant of the challenges facing small business in the modern world, but often the conversation stops at the problems. To its credit, the U.S. Treasury is holding a March conference to try to find solutions.
Sparked by President Barack Obama’s visit to Cleveland, Ohio earlier this week—which we highlighted in this blog yesterday—Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined his plans for a conference at his department in Washington, D.C., on March 22. The conference is expected to center on expanding access to capital for small business across the country, and two recent initiatives will be highlighted in particular.
The good news is that in addition to initiatives like the Small Business Jobs Act that passed last year, Geithner wrote on his blog, two other initiatives are in the works to attempt to provide a surfboard for companies riding the wave of the economic recovery.
Here’s Geithner’s explanation of those two initiatives, which are far more detailed than I could hope to provide:
The first of these programs is the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This program, which is expected to spur more than $15 billion in small business lending, is already breathing new life into successful state lending enterprises that help credit-worthy small manufacturers and businesses obtain loans from the private sector. SSBCI funding has already been awarded to California, Michigan and North Carolina, which is expected to result in more than $3 billion in lending for these three states alone. And we expect to announce funding for other states soon.
Another program created by the Small Business Jobs Act is the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). A maximum of $30 billion has been authorized for this program, which encourages lending to small businesses by providing low cost capital to qualified local community banks with assets under $10 billion. We have received hundreds of applications requesting more than $4 billion in funds from Main Street banks across the country and we plan to announce the first round of SBLF awards in the coming weeks.
We’ll keep you updated on the conference as it approaches. For now, talk about how this news might impact you in the comments.
Photo credit to davidlat at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/695066