01.23.19

Sen. Coons calls for SBA’s plan to address the shutdown’s growing loan backlog

WILMINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and members of the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee wrote to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon today requesting the SBA’s plan for addressing the backlog of loan approvals, which continues to grow as the government shutdown drags on.

They note in their letter that the SBA’s loan processing centers are not processing loans during the shutdown, causing small business owners to lose out on an estimated $117 million in capital every day that the government shutdown continues. 

“Because capital is the lifeblood of our nation’s small businesses, it is critical that the SBA have a plan in place to address the growing backlog of loan applications so that it can be quickly implemented once the government reopens,” the Senators said. They further urged Administrator McMahon to share with them requests for additional resources the SBA might need in order to meet the needs of America’s small businesses adversely affected by the government shutdown.

The text of the letter to Administrator McMahon follows: 

Dear Administrator McMahon: 

As members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, we are concerned that the current government shutdown is preventing small businesses from accessing much needed capital through the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) and 504 Loan Guaranty Programs and that the growing backlog of applications will create long delays for loan approvals once the agency reopens. 

As you know, the SBA works with approved lenders and community development organizations to guarantee loans, mitigating their risks and offering access to capital to those unable to obtain conventional loans. In FY 2018, the SBA approved more than 66,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, providing more than $30 billion to small businesses and supporting nearly 600,000 jobs. 

With the SBA’s loan processing centers in California and Kentucky currently unable to process loans, small businesses are losing out on an estimated $117 million in capital every day that the government shutdown continues.

Because capital is the lifeblood of our nation’s small businesses, it is critical that the SBA have a plan in place to address the growing backlog of loan applications so that it can be quickly implemented once the government reopens. As such, we ask that you provide us with the steps you are taking to ensure that the SBA can quickly and equitably work through the growing backlog of applications. Please let us know if you require additional resources or authorities to meet the needs of these small businesses who are being adversely affected by the government shutdown. 

Thank you for your attention to this request. We look forward to your response. 

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Press Contact

Sean Coit 202-224-5042 or sean_coit@coons.senate.gov