Crowley Announces New Small Business Lending Program to Help Local Entrepreneurs

Jun 15, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) announced today the start of a new small business lending program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to assist local entrepreneurs during this difficult economic climate.  The newly launched “America’s Recovery Capital” (ARC) program allows small firms to take out loans of $35,000 to pay down existing business debts.  Borrowers pay no interest on the ARC loans and repayment does not begin for one year.  There are 1.9 million small businesses in New York State alone.

“Today, struggling small businesses across the Bronx and Queens will have a new lifeline,” said Congressman Crowley.  “The ARC program gives local entrepreneurs the breathing room they need to pay down bills, retain employees and make it through this difficult economic downturn.  Small businesses generate seven out of ten new jobs in our nation.  These loans will go a long way towards helping the estimated 1.9 million small businesses in New York, and help contribute to the economic recovery locally and nationwide.”

To qualify for the ARC loans, small firms must demonstrate they are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the economic downturn, but are otherwise deemed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to be viable.  The loans will be made by commercial lenders and can be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debts like credit card obligations, mortgages, lines of credit, and balances due to suppliers, vendors, and utilities.  The loan program was established through the ARRA, which President Obama signed into law in February.  

In addition to the ARC loan program, the ARRA contained other measures aimed at helping small firms access credit.  For instance, the new law increases the percentage of a loan that the SBA can guarantee, makes SBA-backed loans more affordable and provides tools to unfreeze the small business credit markets, helping small companies access capital at affordable rates.

“From the corner bodega to the neighborhood family doctor to our favorite local restaurant – small businesses are the heart of the New York economy,” said Congressman Crowley.  “These entrepreneurs are under great financial pressure during this tough economic climate, but we have worked hard in Congress to make sure they too will benefit from our economic recovery efforts.  The ARC loan program is one element in a whole series of initiatives in the Recovery Act aimed at giving small firms the tools they need to lead our nation back to prosperity.”

To apply for ARC loans, businesses should visit their local SBA-approved small business lenders.  The loans will be available through Sept. 30, 2010, or until appropriated funding runs out.  Additional information about the ARC loan program is available at https://www.sba.gov/recovery/arcloanprogram/index.html.