Dear Small Business Advocate,
Three years ago today, the Small Business Jobs Act became law. As Chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I am proud to have led this bipartisan effort to help America’s small business recover from The Great Recession.
The Small Business Jobs Act added billions of dollars of lending and investment to America’s entrepreneurs and provided $12 billion in tax relief to small businesses from coast to coast.
(Press Conference in support of the Small Business Jobs Act, Sept. 2010)
When I took over as Chair of this Committee in January 2009, our country was facing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. The U.S. economy lost 818,000 jobs that month alone. From September 2008 through the end of 2009, the Great Recession wiped out 7 million American jobs.
In the face of tightening credit markets and insufficient resources to assist them, small businesses were struggling to keep their doors open; and the primary agency responsible for assisting them was itself struggling to keep up with demand after suffering significant budget cuts in the previous years.
The Small Business Jobs Act got small businesses in Louisiana, and across the nation, the help they need, ensuring they maintained their historic role as job creators and innovators spurring economic recovery.
Since the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act:
—The Small Business Administration (SBA) supported approximately $60 billion in lending over the past two years, which were the two highest SBA lending years on record.
—SBA has refinanced 2,424 small business commercial mortgages, totaling almost $2.3 billion in volume through the 504 commercial mortgage refinance program. This helped contribute to the highest 504 lending year of all time which supported over $15 billion in small business lending.
—SBA successfully rolled out the first round of State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grants in September 2011 to 47 states and four territories, totaling $30 million. STEP grants maximize the federal-state-local resources to help small businesses export so they can grow their business and create jobs. The STEP program assisted more than 2,000 small businesses begin exporting or increase their current export success.