House OKs Small Business Committee Bills

April 20, 2021

Last week, the House considered four bipartisan Small Business Committee bills. All of these bills were reintroductions from last Congress, and passed with bipartisan support.

Microloan Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 1502) was introduced by Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and cosponsored by Rep. Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Rep. Burchett (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Newman (D-Ill.). The bill revises the microloan program through which the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial assistance to small businesses through designated intermediaries.  This bill passed the House by a final of vote of 397 – 16.

Further, the Microloan Improvement Act would increase the number of nonprofit, community-based lenders eligible for the lowest interest rate on loans from the SBA and allow these lenders to offer lines of credit to small businesses, while extending the maximum repayment term for loans. This would help cut through bureaucratic red tape identified as restricting lending to small businesses looking to grow and create jobs.

Microloan Transparency and Accountability Act of 2021 (H.R. 1487) was introduced by Rep. Burchett (R-Tenn.), and is cosponsored by Rep. Kim (D-N.J.), Rep. Fitzgerald (R-Wis.), and Rep. Newman (D-Ill.). The bill requires the SBA to perform an annual portfolio risk analysis of the Microloan Program, in order to ensure taxpayer money is safeguarded. Updating Congress with this information will help prevent fraud and government waste within the Microloan Program. The measure would also enhance microloans in rural areas and provide new reporting to Congress to ensure that the program is best serving America’s small-business owners. The House voted 409 – 4 to pass this legislation and send it to the Senate for consideration.

504 Modernization and Small Manufacturer Enhancement Act of 2021 (H.R. 1490) was introduced by Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and cosponsored by Rep. Kim (R-Calif.), Rep. Davids (D-Kansas), and Rep. Chabot (R-Ohio). This bill modifies the SBA 504 Loan Program, which provides a small business with SBA financing––through a certified development company (CDC) intermediary—for expansion or modernization. The bill modernizes the loan program and enhances how the program assists small manufacturers, through increasing the loan amount and resource availability, making it more accessible and secure for small manufacturers to participate in. The legislation also aims to streamline the loan closing process for small businesses. This bill passed the House by a vote of 400 – 16, and is now pending in the Senate.

504 Credit Risk Management Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 1482) was introduced by Rep. Bishop (R-N.C.) and cosponsored by Rep. Craig (D-Minn.), Rep. Kim (R-Calif.), and Rep. Davids (D-Kansas). The measure would increase and streamline oversight of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 Loan Program, allowing small businesses to grow, modernize, and recover. The 504 Credit Risk Management Improvement Act enhances the Office of Credit Risk Management at SBA, which oversees the 504 Loan Program. This program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for small businesses to acquire major assets. The legislation outlines the specific oversight responsibilities during a review of the 504 Loan approval process and defines the penalties for violating SBA’s rules. The 504 Credit Risk Management Improvement Act of 2021 passed the House by a vote of 411-8. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.