Shaheen decries hold on 504 Refi revival

The SBA program allows small businesses to refinance existing qualified commercial real estate debt


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A bill in Congress that would revive the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Refinancing Program is being held up by a single senator, and that, says U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, is denying small businesses access to affordable capital.

The unnamed senator put a hold on the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development, or CREED, Act and prevented a vote from being taken.

The CREED Act was introduced by Democrat Shaheen and Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican. It would reinstate what’s known as the SBA’s 504 Refi program, which expired in September 2012. The program was part of the federal government’s economic stimulus during the Great Recession.

The program allows small businesses to refinance existing qualified commercial real estate debt and can be used to help small businesses lower monthly mortgage payments. The program is funded through participant fees.

“There are many strong and differing opinions in the Senate, but when it comes to providing our nation’s small businesses with affordable financing, we’ve found significant common ground,” said Shaheen. “This legislation is an opportunity to address one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses – getting access to credit so they can live up to their full potential. There is small business demand for this program and both sides of the aisle agree that this is a commonsense proposal. The one objection to this legislation comes at the expense of small business growth and job creation.”

In calling for passage of the act on the Senate floor, Shaheen quoted a New Hampshire banker who told her, “During the crisis, businesses took whatever financing they could get. The banks wouldn’t commit to long terms. Today, the rates are much better, so businesses holding those loans are paying too much.”

Senator Shaheen also called for passage of another measure, the Small Business Investment Company Capital Act of 2015, which would help the SBA enhance its support for startup firms.

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