November 12, 2013
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
Washington, DC – Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), the Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, yesterday called for a permanent extension of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Real Estate Advantage Loan (504) Debt-Refinance initiative, as long as the program returned to operating at zero subsidy.
“It is my belief that in order to sustain [the 504 program’s] viability [it] must remain at zero subsidy, or very close to zero subsidy, in light of America’s tenuous financial position,” Risch said. “Small business lending provides a lifeline to businesses but given the budget environment facing our country we can’t afford subsidizing every program.”
“We applaud Sen. Risch’s leadership on small business issues and agree that the time has come for our program to return to operating without any taxpayer subsidy,” said Beth Solomon, President & CEO of the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO). “Particularly if doing so would mean the permanent extension of a proven initiative like REAL (504) debt-refinance, which literally saved thousands of small businesses during the recession and could empower our nation’s job creators to drive our economic recovery if extended.”
NADCO has proposed a fee structure in which SBA Certified Development Companies (CDCs) would temporarily pay extra fees to return the program to zero subsidy. By law, the fees would be borne by the CDCs, not small business borrowers.