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WASHINGTON – Passage by the Senate of the Omnibus Appropriations Resolutions, H.J. Res. 2 means the Small Business Administration’s critical 7(a) Guaranteed Loan Program will receive another $1.2 billion in lending authority. The expansion, said Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Me.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, means “the 7(a) Program will begin generating new jobs and economic growth almost immediately.” Loans from the 7(a) Program are currently capped at $500,000. Senators expect the SBA to remove the cap once the subsidy rate legislation also passes the House. That could happen by the end of January. CUNA SVP and Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn said CUNA “was pleased” with the additional funds that were appropriated for the 7(a) loan program, but she would not comment on whether the additional funds would have a bearing on the SBA’s decision to open its 7(a) loan program to more credit unions. She emphasized, though that, “the SBA all along has given credit unions every consideration. We believe the SBA wants to have more credit unions involved, it’s just a question of how to get them.” “The fact that SBA Administrator Hector Barreto is speaking at the GAC is a good sign,” Dunn said.

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