Updated with list of top Small Business Administration lenders in 2009.
WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- President Obama signed a bill on Monday to provide $42 billion in loan incentives and tax cuts for small-businesses, after months of wrangling with Republican lawmakers.
During a speech at the White House, Obama touted the Small Business Jobs Bill as one that will provide "critical" aid to Main Street and bashed the other party for opposing the measure. Republicans sought to characterize the bill as similar to the $700 billion bank bailout.
"It was critical that we cut taxes and make more loans available to entrepreneurs," Obama said. "So today after a long and tough fight, I am signing a small business jobs bill that does exactly that."
Obama first proposed the bill in January, but the legislation was stonewalled by deficit hawks. The House passed the legislation last week in a 237-187 vote with just one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones, of North Carolina, joining the majority; the Senate passed the bill in a 61-38 vote on Monday with two Republican senators, George Voinovich, of Ohio, and George LeMieux, of Florida, joining the majority.
The bill includes a $30 billion lending fund to encourage small, community banks to make small-business loans, along with $12 billion worth of tax breaks. Democrats pushed forward the bill as a way to win back support from Main Street voters, who are unhappy about the 9.6% unemployment rate and tight credit conditions and feel as though banks have been benefitting from billions in taxpayer dollars while average workers are suffering.
However, it's unclear how much good the new small-business bill will do.
Democrats estimate the incentives could provide up to $300 billion in new small business credit and create half a million jobs. Yet government incentives from other federal initiatives have done little to urge banks to modify troubled borrowers' mortgages, or to spur investors to buy up toxic assets.