The Obama administration on Monday raised some eyebrows with its plan to help get the small-business lending market going again. Central to the idea are higher loan guarantees and $15 billion of TARP money to add liquidity to the secondary market for SBA loans.
"There were two things I liked: the help for the securitization markets, and the President's call to make the banks report how much lending they are doing," said Keith Ashmus, a Cleveland-based attorney and chairman of the National Small Business Assn. "We are seeing business after business with a history of promptly paying their bills just get their credit lines canceled."
Kent Hoover has a different take on just how much of an impact the plan might have.
Given the weak state of the economy, however, it is not clear how many small businesses want to borrow money at this time. A survey of small business owners conducted last month for Discover Financial Services found that 23 percent said they would be very likely to apply for an SBA loan if they became easier to get. Another 17 percent said it was somewhat likely they would apply for an SBA loan.
The survey found, however, that 90 percent of small businesses had never applied for an SBA loan.
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