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Recovery Through Small Business

Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, explains how the White House and the SBA are spurring growth for America's small businesses.

Today, I accompanied President Obama to a small business called Metropolitan Archives in Landover, Maryland, which is just outside of Washington, D.C.   The business was founded by two long-time friends (Joe Incarnato and Doug Peters) who saw an opportunity to transform an empty warehouse into a full-service records storage center for companies and nonprofit organizations.  An SBA loan helped them realize their dream.

This year, the Recovery Act allowed the SBA to make some changes to help even more small businesses.  As a result, we've been able to provide about 33,000 loans with total lending support of about $13 billion for entrepreneurs and small business owners.  Still, many of America's small business owners – like Joe and Doug – are finding that the maximum loan size of SBA's top two loan programs, $2 million, can only go so far.

That's why President Obama announced today that we should increase it to $5 million.  Our data at SBA shows that this is a good idea.  In recent years, the percentage of our loans that have been in the top range of our loan size ($1.5 million to $2 million) has nearly doubled and we know that many small businesses are asking for higher amounts.

President Announces New Small Business Lending Initiatives

President Barack Obama, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, center, and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills, right, announces a package of initiatives that will increase credit to small businesses while speaking at Metropolitan Archives, in Landover, Md., Oct. 21, 2009. October 21, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The President also announced additional support from the Treasury Department for smaller community banks and credit unions.  These lenders have always been critical partners in helping us start, grow and strengthen local economies around the country.

The efforts that the President announced today will help us ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to grow and create jobs.  This is critical, because we know that small business already create the majority of new private sector jobs in this country, and more than half of working Americans either own or work for a small business.

As the President put it:

And the steps we've announced will make a difference for Joe and Doug, and all the folks who work here at Metropolitan Archives. In the past five years, you've done all that's asked of Americans who hope to pursue a dream of owning their own business -- you've taken a risk on a good idea, you've worked hard for your success, you've met your responsibilities to your employees and your customers. It's time that responsibility and that success are rewarded with the opportunity to keep growing, keep hiring, keep contributing to the success of your community and of your country. That's the opportunity we're providing today, and that's the opportunity I will continue to fight for as your President in the weeks and months ahead.

The SBA, Treasury and our federal partners will continue to find new ways to help the small business community lead us out of recession and into economic recovery.  I encourage you to go to for more information about who we are and what we do.