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House of Representatives Pass Two Bipartisan Bills Co-Led By U.S. Rep. Newman (IL-03) to Improve Small Business Access to Microloans

April 16, 2021

The bipartisan legislation passed today is designed to make the process of applying for microloans easier, faster and more transparent for all local entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills co-led by U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-03) in partnership with Reps. Tim Burchett (TN-02) Andy Kim (NJ-03), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05) and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02) as part of a bipartisan effort to make the process of applying for microloans easier, faster and more transparent for all small business owners.  

“As a former small business owner, I know first-hand that loan opportunities can make a life-changing difference for a business. As tens of thousands of businesses continue to be devastated by this pandemic, we have a fundamental obligation to remove barriers and bureaucratic red tape to ensure small businesses have easier and faster access to receiving microloans,” said Congresswoman Newman. “I'm proud to have passed this legislation, which will further ensure financial support for the smallest of our small businesses so they can not only survive this pandemic but bring back their workers and help reignite our economy.” 

“As vaccines are being distributed, it’s so important that we do everything we can to support our small businesses, so they’re primed to thrive and grow jobs as we put an end to the pandemic,” said Congressman Kim. “This bill will make sure that the Microloan program is doing its job in providing that support, and I’m proud to work with my bipartisan colleagues to pass this through the House.” 

“The Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act is an important update to the Small Business Administration’s Microloan Program,” said Congressman Burchett. “This legislation ensures the Microloan Program targets both rural and urban areas, and creates important oversight of the program that will reduce fraud and government waste. I’m proud this bill has passed the House of Representatives with the help of this bipartisan group of members.” 

“This bill is a bipartisan victory and proof that we can all stand behind and support small business owners. We have a responsibility to ensure the SBA’s Microloan program, and the capital it offers, is effectively reaching businesses, especially in rural Wisconsin communities. I’m proud to have co-introduced this legislation which will do exactly this all while conducting basic oversight to protect and account for hardworking taxpayer dollars,” said Congressman Fitzgerald. 

“Coronavirus brought to the foreground what small business owners have been telling the federal government for decades – red tape and federal regulation is destroying their businesses,” said Congressman Garbarino. “I’m proud to lead this bipartisan legislation that would cut through burdensome regulations and enact commonsense reform to the SBA lending process. I now call on my Senate counterparts to quickly pass this legislation so we can alleviate some of the burden Long Island small business owners have felt since the onset of this pandemic.” 

The Microloan Improvement Act Of 2021: Introduced by Andy Kim (NJ-03), and co-led by Reps. Marie Newman (IL-03), Tim Burchett (TN-02), and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), the legislation is designed to expand the number of community-based lenders that are eligible for the lowest interest rate on loans from the SBA to ensure these lenders can offer lines of credit to more small businesses. To make it easier for our small business owners to pay back these loans, the bill would extend the maximum repayment term for the loans. By removing barriers and bureaucratic red tape that have historically prevented small businesses from receiving microloans, the legislation further ensures microloans are getting to the smallest of small businesses that need it the most. 

The Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act: Introduced by Tim Burchett (TN-02) and co-led by Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05) and Marie Newman (IL-03), the Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act enhances microloans in rural areas and provides new reporting to Congress to ensure that the program is best serving America’s small business owners. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program currently experiences low participation in rural areas. This legislation addresses this issue by offering a 5% technical assistance grant to SBA microloan intermediaries when these institutions work with rural small businesses. Microloan intermediaries must make 25% of their loans to rural small businesses to be eligible for the technical assistance grant. This bill also aims to improve transparency within the Microloan Program, requiring the SBA to provide Congress with a Portfolio Risk Analysis of microloans on an annual basis.