Washington (April 7, 2004) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it would lift a cap on some loans and drop restrictions on others, after President Bush signed legislation this week that will increase loan authority for the SBA flagship loan program by more than $3 billion.
The SBA said the 30 percent increase in small business loans for the current year will allow it to lift a three-month-old cap of $750,000 on 7(a) loans, returning it to its previous $2 million level, and to drop restrictions on piggyback loans. SBA administrator Hector V. Barreto said he expects "another record-breaking year for the SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program, and another historic year for America’s small businesses.”
The new law increases the 7(a) program’s lending authority for this year to $12.5 billion, a move it said will allow the program to reach up to 90,000 small businesses in fiscal year 2004. It also raises the maximum on SBA Express loans to $2 million; allows the SBA to raise the maximum guaranty on loans up to $2 million to 75 percent; reauthorizes the 504 loan program; and sets authorization levels for the Small Business Investment Company program through the end of the fiscal year.
The SBA said the bill also guarantees that its Small Disadvantaged Business and Preferred Surety Bond programs will remain in continual service through June 4, 2004.
-- WebCPA staff
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