Through provisions under the new Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the SBA said effective Oct. 8, it has permanently increased the 7(a) loan limit from $2 million to $5 million and 504 loans to $5.5 million.
The changes are permanent for general small business loans under SBA's 7(a) guaranteed loan program, fixed-asset loans through the 504 Certified Development Company program, microloans, and International Trade, Export Working Capital and Export Express loans.
The SBA said it also permanently increased microloan limits from $35,000 to $50,000, raised the limit on Export Express loans from $250,000 to $500,000, and made the program permanent. SBA Express loan limits have been temporarily raised from $350,000 to $1 million for one year, the agency said.
The Jobs Act also includes additional resources to help increase lending to small businesses, including the State Small Business Credit Initiative announced by the Department of Treasury, which will support $15 billion in lending through local programs, and the Small Business Lending Fund, which will provide capital to financial institutions to increase their lending efforts.
Additionally, the new law contains $12 billion in tax credits targeted to small businesses, including higher deductions for investing in new machines and equipment, zero capital gains for those who buy and hold small business stocks for five years, and a doubling of the maximum deduction for startups to $10,000. It also allows self-employed Americans to completely deduct health insurance costs for themselves and their families.