The Small Business Administration said it is ready to get "much-needed capital" into the hands of small business owners.

"We hope small businesses will take the opportunity to ask their banks about the SBA loans that might be available to them," said SBA Acting Administrator Darryl Hairston "And, we encourage community banks and other lenders to work with us to reach as many qualified borrowers as we can during these difficult times."

President Barack Obama said today the Treasury Department has committed up to $15 billion to help unlock frozen credit markets by purchasing small business loan securities currently sitting on the secondary market. Under the plan, the SBA will temporarily eliminate fees for borrowers on its 7(a) loans and for both lenders and borrowers on its 504 certified development company loans. The fee elimination for both loan programs is retroactive to Feb. 17, the day the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed. The SBA said it is developing a mechanism for refunding fees paid on loans since then.

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