Boren touts new loan program for small businesses
BY JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
6/16/09 at 4:25 AM
WASHINGTON U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the only Oklahoman in Congress to vote for this year's federal stimulus package, singled out a new loan program Monday designed to help small businesses hurt by the economic downturn.
Under the program, small firms could be eligible for a loan of as much as $35,000 that would not have to be repaid for a year. According to the Small Business Administration, repayment can extend for as long as five years.
Boren, a Democrat, said the loan would be interest-free for the first year.
"There are many businesses throughout eastern Oklahoma that would be viable in the long term if they could just make it through this rough patch," he said.
"That's why we created this initiative. It gives small-business owners some breathing room they need, so they can pay their bills, retain employees and play their traditional role as the engine that drives our state and local economies."
To qualify for the loans, Boren said, small firms must demonstrate that they are experiencing immediate financial hardship because of the economic downturn but are otherwise deemed to be viable by the Small Business Administration.
Boren said the loans will be made by commercial lenders and can be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debts, such as credit-card obligations, mortgages, lines of credit, and balances due to suppliers, vendors and utilities.
In addition to the loan program, he said, the stimulus contained other measures aimed at helping small firms access credit.
For example, Boren said, the law increased the percentage of a loan that the Small Business Administration can guarantee, made administration-backed loans more affordable, and provided tools to unfreeze the small-business credit markets.
"Small businesses are our nation's most reliable job creators, generating seven out of 10 new jobs," Boren said. "If our nation is going to lift itself out of this recession, we need small-business growth to start again."
To apply for the loans, Boren encouraged businesses to visit local Small Business Administration-approved small-business lenders.
He said the loans will be available through Sept. 30, 2010, or until funding runs out.
For more information about the loan program, go online to
Jim Myers 202-224-0241