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Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Holds Roundtable Conference

Legislation Designed to Assist Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2013 – The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship recently held a roundtable conference titled “Helping Small Businesses Weather Economic Challenges and Natural Disasters: Review of Legislative Proposals on Access to Capital and Disaster Recovery.” The roundtable conference was led by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairwoman of the committee.

This came after recent legislative proposals, such as Senate Bill 415, the Small Business Disaster Reform Act; Senate Bill 511, the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act; Senate Bill 289, the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act; and Senate Bill 537, the Communicating Lender Economic Activity Records from the Small Business Administration (CLEAR SBA) Act.

•  Senate Bill 511: Amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to enhance the Small Business Investment Company Program,

•  Senate Bill 289: Extends the low-interest refinancing provisions under the Local Development Business Loan Program of the Small Business Administration,

•  Senate Bill 537: Requires the Small Business Administration to make information relating to lenders making covered loans publicly available.

Landrieu introduced Senate Bill 415, which includes two no-cost disaster reforms:

“As chair of this committee, and as a senator from a state repeatedly hit hard from natural disasters, I believe that one of the most important responsibilities of this committee is to ensure SBA is fully staffed, better organized and ready to quickly assist businesses post disaster … After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the SBA response was slow and inefficient, and insufficient to the task at hand. While there has been improvement at SBA, I continue to hear from small businesses that additional reforms are needed to make these programs more responsive to the needs of impacted businesses. Our small businesses are the economic heartbeat of these communities, and they deserve to get the fastest and best help possible, particularly businesses that take the risk of being the first to open back up, before they even know if anybody else is coming back.”

Senate Bill 415 alters the SBA requirement suggesting borrowers must use a personal home as collateral for business disaster loans less than $200,000. The bill requires SBA to use business assets, such as commercial real estate, equipment or inventory, before mandating a primary residence be used as collateral toward the loan. The bill also authorizes the SBA administrator to allow out-of-state Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to provide assistance to small businesses located in areas that are declared disaster areas by the president. The goal behind this is to allow SBDCs to share resources across state lines or other boundaries following disasters.

To watch footage from the hearing, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.

ASA advances professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation and member services. For additional information about ASA, including past news releases, go to www.ASAshop.org, or visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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