UTICA — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., stood with local business owners and community leaders at the Utica Women’s Business Center on Monday 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 minority and women business owners, among other entrepreneurs.
These entrepreneurs face challenges accessing the capital needed to start and expand small businesses because they are often denied loans by banks, Gillibrand said..
The proposed legislation, Gillibrand said, 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 minority, women, 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 passed with unanimous support by the Senate Small Business Committee in March this year, and has passed in the House of Representatives. The bill is sponsored by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and cosponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Gary Peters (D-MI).
“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.”
“Providing capital and technical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs is the best investment we can make. In Utica, minority and women-owned businesses have and will continue to play an integral role in our City’s revitalization,” said Mayor Robert Palmieri.
“This bi-partisan legislation will go to great lengths in helping local businesses expand and grow. I commend Senator Gillibrand for her proactive leadership and support for our small business community,” Palmieri added.
“Small businesses are truly the engine of the Mohawk Valley’s economy. The Microloan Modernization Act will provide women and minority entrepreneurs with the tools they need to become successful business owners. I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for her support for this program, which will expand opportunity for small business owners, and also help with the continuing revitalization of the Mohawk Valley region,” said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.
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, which in turn provide microloans of up to $50,000, business-based training, and technical assistance to start-up and growing small businesses. The average loan size is $13,000.