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Rep. Spano Provides Long-Term Relief to Small Businesses in Need

Press Release

Date: July 31, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Representative Ross Spano (R-FL), the sole Florida Representative on the House Small Business Committee, introduced a bill with Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) to establish the Community Advantage Loan Program to help underserved small-businesses nationwide.

"The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided immediate relief to millions of small businesses and saved over 51+ million jobs, including over 68,000 jobs in FL-15. Now it is time for Congress to turn its attention to providing longer-term liquidity to small businesses in need," said Rep. Spano. "As a former small business owner, I know this bill will help veteran owned small businesses and create more jobs-- something I have been laser-focused on in Congress. "

The bill would take the Community Advantage Loan Program, currently in the pilot stage since 2011, and reauthorize it through 2025. The program would continue to provide low-interest loans to small businesses that have been historically underserved by loan providers, such as veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran owned businesses.

"When small businesses succeed, neighborhoods can thrive thanks to the jobs they create. This is especially true for our nation's low-income communities. Businesses in these areas may not have a strong relationship with a bank or credit union, stifling their efforts at growth. For nearly a decade, the SBA Community Advantage Program has helped these businesses access capital," said House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH). "The legislation introduced today extends the program, outlines program requirements, and includes safeguards for proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars. I thank Representatives Spano and Chu for their leadership and commitment to ensuring our nation's underserved businesses and communities are not left behind."

The Community Advantage Loan Program would also require SBA to provide technical assistance and training to lenders participating in the program and to report weekly and annually to Congress on the program's performance, including demographic data. Per the SBA, there are over 2.5 million veteran majority-owned business in America, 99.9% of which are classified as small businesses and employ over 5 million Americans.

"Every business in our country is suffering right now, but small minority- or woman-owned businesses are facing even greater challenges as they lack the relationships with large banks necessary to secure business loans," said Rep. Chu. "The SBA's Community Advantage program has a demonstrated record of success at helping these businesses not only access loans, but also with providing technical assistance and training for lenders so that they can better serve these markets..."

The Community Advantage Loan Program is just one more legislative initiative by Rep. Spano to assist local veterans and small businesses. Most recently, Spano introduced and passed his "Boots to Business' program in the House to help veterans start and run their own businesses.

For more information, visit Spano.House.Gov.