Corning, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today stood with Corning Mayor William Boland, local business owners, and economic development leaders at Cugini Café and Market to announce bipartisan legislation, the Microloan Modernization Act, to expand the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program that provides loans and technical assistance to women and minority business owners, among other entrepreneurs who face challenges accessing the capital needed to start and expand small businesses because they are often denied loans by banks.
The legislation Gillibrand announced would strengthen the SBA Microloan Program by raising the total limit on outstanding loans to intermediary lending organizations, which would allow for more loans to be made to women, minority, and other business owners. The Microloan Modernization Act also expands opportunities for more hands-on training assistance to help small business owners succeed. This bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and has passed in the House of Representatives. The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Gary Peters (D-MI).
According to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, women receive less than 5 percent of conventional small business loans, even though women-owned businesses make up nearly 40 percent of all businesses in the country. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce has found that among smaller minority-owned businesses, loan denial rates for minority firms were about three times higher compared to those of non-minority-owned firms.
“Too many would-be small business owners struggle to get loans from banks to start their businesses. More often than not, the people who lose out are women and minority New Yorkers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The bipartisan Microloan Modernization Act would help ensure that every hardworking entrepreneur who wants to start a business has a chance to do it. If we really want to fix our economy, then we need to start rewarding work and entrepreneurship again, and this bipartisan bill is a good place to start.”
“Access to capital is the life blood of small business. Clear data shows us that women and minority owned small businesses have a more difficult time in getting loans and access to training in the ‘how-to’s’ of making a business a success,” said Corning Mayor William Boland. “This bill takes a big step in addressing these inequities by leveling the playing field.”
“When we started writing the business plan for Card Carrying Books & Gifts, we knew we’d be seeking a loan. Lucky for us, REDEC is right here in Corning. Not only was everyone there helpful and encouraging, but they continue to ask us how things are going in the shop,” said Sarah Blagg, Managing Partner, Card Carrying Books and Gifts. “Small businesses are about the people and stories behind them, and we wouldn’t get to hear these stories without the assistance a small business loan can provide.”
“Access to capital is critical to entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. The SBA Microloan Program provides much needed capital to start-up and expanding small businesses,” said George E. Miner, President, REDEC Relending Corporation. “Small business have a large impact on local economies, both by hiring the majority of local workers, generating sales tax, payroll, and retaining business profits locally.”
Since its inception, the SBA Microloan Program has delivered more than $722 million in loans to small businesses across America that have created or retained 212,000 jobs. In Fiscal Year 2017 alone, the program loaned over $8.4 million to 821 New York entrepreneurs and business owners. The SBA Microloan Program makes direct loans and grants to intermediary, non-profit organizations that in turn provide microloans of up to $50,000 and business-based training and technical assistance to start-up and growing small businesses. The average loan size is $13,000.