Jay Colucci was told by a local community bank that he could get a loan for his trade show and convention planning business EventSphere …. only once a bill intended to increase small business lending passed into law.
“We’ve been watching this bill make its way through Congress,” Colucci told MainStreet. “Until it passes, we’re in limbo.”
Colucci, and countless other owners looking to expand or start a small business, will have to wait longer for their financial aid as the $30 billion bill, first proposed by the Obama administration, stalled in the Senate this week. While Republicans and Democrats appear to now agree over the nuts and bolts of the bill, they have been unable to reconcile which amendments should be added to it.
Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster and send the bill to a final vote. However, Democrats fell two votes short as all 41 Republicans voted together to continue debate on the bill.
As we previously reported, the bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses The $30 billion fund was formerly part of a larger $134 billion grab bag bill, called the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which didn’t pass the Senate due to its large price tag. Congress did, however, ultimately pass smaller pieces of this legislation, extending higher Medicare payments to physicians first, a homebuyer tax credit second and unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless most recently.
This small business bill would effectively extend government programs, such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, (otherwise known as the stimulus, which backed bank loans with federal funds) that expired early this year.
While the proposed lending fund would be available only to banks with less than $10 billion in assets, Republicans initially opposed its inclusion, likening it to the earlier, unpopular bailouts of large financial institutions. Many small business owners agree with the comparison, but the parallels are, in fact, what angers them.