Treasury Notes

 Sparking Small Business Jobs Growth, In Kansas and Across the Country

By: Don Graves

Yesterday, Secretary Geithner spoke before the House Committee on Small Business about the Obama Administration's efforts to help break down barriers to investment and job creation for America's small businesses.

As Secretary Geithner noted, small business owners have faced a number of especially difficult challenges in the aftermath of the recent recession and credit crisis. Many small businesses are concentrated in sectors that were especially hard hit by the recession and the bursting of the housing bubble, such as construction and real estate. And many small business owners across the country have struggled to access the credit they need to expand their operation and create new jobs.

That's why the Obama Administration has worked with Congress to put in place a number of initiatives to provide support to small businesses that want to invest and hire.

Of course, there is no single silver bullet on this issue, which is why we have employed a multifaceted approach. That approach includes providing tax relief to help small businesses grow; developing new public-private partnerships to help small businesses access the capital they need to expand; increasing SBA loan guarantees and loan limits, assisting small businesses more easily reach export markets around the world; and placing a priority on working with small businesses through Federal contracts.

Key to the Administration's efforts are two initiatives designed to increase lending to small business around the country. The Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) provides capital to Main Street banks so that they can work with small businesses in their communities to spur economic growth and create local jobs. We are hard at work getting SBLF funding into towns across the country. Today, more than 50 banks have received preliminary funding approvals and we expect to formally announce the first round of recipients in early July.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) provides funds to innovative state-level programs that partner with the private sector to help expand lending to small businesses. During his testimony, Secretary Geithner announced the approval of Kansas' State Small Business Credit Initiative application. Kansas' planned use of the SSBCI funds will help create new, private sector jobs by spurring more than $132 million in additional small-businesses lending in that state.

Kansas' approved plan dedicates $10.5 million to the Kansas Capital Multiplier Loan Fund, which provides matching funds through private sector partners to eligible businesses in communities across the state. Kansas also intends to allocate approximately $2.6 million to the Kansas Capital Multiplier Venture Fund, which provides new capital investments for second-stage businesses.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said, “This program gives Kansas another tool to help us grow the state’s economy and create jobs. I’m especially pleased we have another way to give small businesses in Kansas a boost as they work to make themselves successful.”

With half of all American workers employed by companies with fewer than 500 employees, the success of small businesses in America is crucial to economic recovery. The SBLF, SSBCI and similar programs throughout the Administration are key components of our efforts to accelerate that recovery and increase the pace of job creation.

Don Graves is Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business and the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Posted in:  Small Business
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