WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced legislation last week to support lending to small businesses that will help them grow despite the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2021 would reauthorize and provide $10 billion in federal funding to the State Small Business Credit Initiative, or SSBCI, helping small businesses grow and create jobs. Coons previously cosponsored this legislation in the last Congress.

"State economic development leaders in Delaware and across the country know their states' economies, and so do local investors," Senator Coons, a member of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, said. "I'm proud to cosponsor the Small Business Access to Capital Act, because state and local leaders in the public and private sector are well positioned to leverage federal dollars with private capital that can be lent to and invested in local businesses. As Main Streets across the country struggle under the COVID-19 pandemic, rebooting the successful State Small Business Credit Initiative will provide an important tool for the difficult recovery ahead."

"Since the onset of this pandemic, small businesses in Michigan and across the country have gone above and beyond to support their local communities during this critical time. We must ensure small businesses have the resources they need to get through this pandemic," Sen. Peters said. "I have been proud to champion the State Small Business Credit Initiative because it is a proven success in our state, and proper investment in the program today could provide crucial support to small business owners across the nation. I'm pleased to help reintroduce this bill, and I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our small business owners receive the help they have earned."

"The COVID-19 crisis has taken an incredible toll on small businesses in our state and across the country, and made us appreciate even more their importance to our communities and our economy," Senator Stabenow said. "Given the stress of this pandemic on so many small businesses, access to capital is more important than ever. I look forward to working with Senator Peters to pass this legislation."

The Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2021 would revive a 2010 program used by the Obama Administration to help the small business sector recover from the 2009 financial crisis. Under that program, Delaware used $13.2 million in federal funding to support 110 small business loans, which generated $59 million in total financing. The median business supported was three years old and had three full-time employees. In total, 1,463 jobs were supported or retained.

The current legislation builds on the 2010 program's success by offering an additional $5 billion in formula funds to all states. The present bill would also create a new, competitive $5 billion pool of funding for states that have already capitalized on the financing from the 2010 program, equaling $10 billion in funding for the program in total.