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President Donald Trump yesterday signed into law a NAFCU-backed bill to strengthen the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) loan program. A NAFCU witness testified in support of the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act (H.R. 4743) before the House Small Business Committee in January.

"We thank President Trump for recognizing the importance of bolstering the SBA's 7(a) loan program, which is critical to credit unions' ability to provide loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "This was a bipartisan effort led by Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman [Jim] Risch, Ranking Member [Ben] Cardin and Committee Member [Jeanne] Shaheen, and House Small Business Committee Chairman [Steve] Chabot and Ranking Member [Nydia] Velázquez, and we appreciate their work on this issue."

The act increases the SBA's oversight authority over the 7(a) loan program by:

  • strengthening SBA’s Office of Credit Risk Management by outlining in statute the responsibilities of the office and the requirements of its director;
  • enhancing SBA’s lender oversight review process, including increasing the office’s enforcement options;
  • requiring SBA to detail its oversight budget and perform a full risk analysis of the program on an annual basis; and
  • strengthening SBA’s Credit Elsewhere Test by clarifying the factors that must be considered. 

NAFCU has closely worked with the SBA to increase the number of credit unions offering SBA 7(a) loans. At NAFCU's 2017 Congressional Caucus, Berger signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with SBA Administrator Linda McMahon aimed at improving access to credit union small-dollar loans to small businesses across the nation.

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