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U.S. Senate Prepares To Vote On Small Business Fund

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 7/26/2010

Small Business Lending Fund would create $30 billion in loans.

The United States Senate recently paved the way for a vote on President Barack Obama's plan to help increase the number of loans to small businesses.

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The Small Business Lending Fund will be voted on in the next few weeks, after two Republican Senators voted to end the preliminary debate. In his most recent State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama touted the bill as an important part of helping the economy recover.

The bill will give community banks with less than $10 billion in assets access to a $30-billion small business fund, new business tax incentives and additional support from the Small Business Administration's loan program.

According to the Federal Reserve, small business lending has plummeted in the past few years. Lending to small businesses by banks dropped from $710 billion in 2008 to $670 last year.

In a recent interview with BusinessWeek, analyst Raj Date made small business news by saying that the $30-billion fund might be too little too late. "The amount of help is relatively small [compared to] the size of the problem," he told the news source.

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