A top official at the U.S. Small Business Administration prodded lawmakers at a congressional hearing to extend a debt refinancing program that provided a lifeline to thousands of struggling small businesses before expiring last year.

SBA Associate Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit said the agency supported an extension of the 504 Debt Refinance program at a Senate Roundtable on Thursday attended by Senate Small Business Committee chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and ranking Republican member Jim Risch, R-Idaho.

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