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WASHINGTON — The House overwhelmingly passed the Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007 (H.R. 1332) yesterday, which would help expand SBA-backed lending to provide small businesses the capital they need.

The bill, which passed 380-45, would direct the SBA administrator to establish a rural lending outreach program and a community express program for loans of $250,000 or less; provide special considerations for medical professionals looking to start their practices in Designated Shortage Areas; increase veteran participation; revise eligibility requirements for development company designation as a certified development company and require certain CDCs to contract for the foreclosure and liquidation of defaulted small business loans; and authorize SBA loans for projects which reduce energy consumption by at least 10%.

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