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Michigan Small Business Lending up more than $216 Million because of Law Peters Helped Write and Pass

Bloomfield Hills, MI - Today U.S. Representative Gary Peters announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a report showing that Michigan banks receiving capital from the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) have increased their small business lending by a total of $216.6 million over their baselines. Following the meltdown on Wall Street in 2008, small businesses faced a serious crisis getting access to the credit they needed to grow and survive. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Peters reached out to Michigan’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to hear their concerns and develop solutions to help them succeed. As a result, Peters helped write the Small Business Jobs Act that created the SBLF fund to help Michigan's credit unions and community banks make job creating loans to small businesses in our communities.

“When the recession caused a credit crunch for Michigan's Main Street small businesses, I proudly worked to help write and pass the Small Business Jobs Act,” said U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. “Today’s news that small business lending in Michigan has increased by over $216 million since we passed this law is proof that the policies Democrats have advanced are strengthening our economy and creating jobs.”

In a letter thanking Congressman Peters for his “leadership” on this effort, President Obama called the Small Business Jobs Act “the most significant step on behalf of our small businesses in more than a decade.” This new Treasury report further underscores how successful this program has been.

According to the report, banks participating in the Small Business Lending Fund have increased their small business lending by $6.7 billion nationwide. In Michigan, participating banks have increased their small business lending by more than $216 million, including an additional $26 million since July.  Almost seventy percent of banks participating nationwide have increased their small business lending by ten percent or more.  Every participant in Michigan has increased lending by more than ten percent and, in most cases, far exceeds that target.

Background:

In September 2009, U.S. Rep. Peters was the first Member of Congress to call for the creation of a lending fund for smaller lenders, publishing an op-ed in The Hill on the need to spur more small business lending through community banks (click here to read that op-ed).

In November 2009, U.S. Rep. Peters convened a field hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in Michigan to hear directly from small businesses and community banks about the need to spur small business lending and strategies for doing so.  (Click here for more information on that hearing). 

Following that field hearing, U.S. Rep. Peters authored a letter signed onto by other Members of Congress calling for the Treasury Department to undertake solutions advocated by witnesses at the hearing, including partnering with community banks to spur small business lending.  (Click here to view that letter).

In January 2010 President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he was calling on Congress to pass legislation redirecting funding away from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and using it to help spur small business lending (Click here for Peters’ statement).

In September 2010, just one year from the time U.S. Rep. Peters called for the creation of a small business lending fund, the Small Business Jobs Act was signed into law.  The bill was authored in the Financial Services Committee, of which Peters is a member.

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