Statement by Benjamin Geyerhahn, New York director of Small Business Majority, regarding Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's call to pass bipartisan legislation that could help small businesses secure much-needed credit.
"Pushing for passage of bipartisan legislation that would increase New York small businesses' access to credit union loans, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday underscored the important role access to credit plays in sustaining small business vitality in our state. Small business owners create the majority of new jobs, but are still struggling to grow and hire due to a lack of access to credit. The legislation Sen. Gillibrand highlighted yesterday could help.
"The proposal, known as the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, would allow New York's 422 credit unions to lend as much as 27.5 percent of their assets, up from 12.25 percent. According to a report released by Small Business Majority and R Street Institute, it would free up $13 billion in capital and create 140,000 jobs nationally - with the potential for more than $1 billion of that capital and 11,000 new jobs being generated in New York, according to the Credit Union National Association.
"The vast majority of small business owners agree the availability of credit is a problem for small businesses, according to opinion polling released by Small Business Majority. Six in 10 small business owners polled said it's harder to get a loan now than it was four years ago and another 60 percent have faced difficulty themselves when trying to access loans so they could grow and hire. What's more, 52 percent of those surveyed have turned to credit cards to finance their business.
"That's why, by a 2-to-1 ratio, small businesses support increasing credit unions' member business lending cap to 27.5 percent. Loans that will help New York small businesses grow and create jobs are harder and harder to come by, and with banks' lending portfolios thinning while small business dependence on credit cards grows, it's time for lawmakers to embrace the bipartisan solution on the table that would help address this problem. Congress must heed Sen. Gillibrand's call, and pass the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act now."
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America's 28 million small businesses. It conducts extensive opinion and economic research and works with a rapidly growing network of small business owners across the country to ensure their voices are an integral part of the public policy debate.