Sen. Scott, Hickenlooper announce bipartisan bill to grow small businesses in rural, minority communities

South Carolina News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) jointly introduce the Expanding Access to Credit for Small Business Act to extend criteria areas of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship 7(a) small business loan program.

Millions of rural and minority small business owners could not access banks, therefore making it difficult to access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other financial services. The Expanding Access to Credit for Small Business Act would allow fintech companies to access small business loans.

“As a former small business owner, I know all too well the barriers to entry that prevent entrepreneurs from opening up shop,” says Scott. “The Expanding Access to Credit for Small Business Act is just one step we can take to ensure minority communities and folks in rural America have just as much access to the American Dream as anyone else.”

The bill would end the Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) moratorium and provide resources for the program to be successful.

Scott and Hickenlooper specifically outline what the bill would carry out:

  • Remove the moratorium on new SBLC licenses
  • Re-appropriate unused COVID funds from various stimulus bills to be used by the SBA to provide oversight of the new SBLCs
  • Include reporting requirements to guauge the success of the program
  • Include a rule of construction that would prohibit the SBA administrator from becoming the primary regulator of fintech companies
  • Require the administrator to check for financial soundness and compliance when considering new applicants to the program

“Our bipartisan bill will modernize the SBA’s primary loan program to help underserved small businesses grow and thrive,” Hickenlooper says, “you shouldn’t need a big bank to get an SBA loan.”

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