Tuesday, October 20, 2009

U.S. to Boost Small-Business Lending

According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama is expected to make an announcement tomorrow morning with new initiatives designed to boost credit for struggling small business. The program will make it easier for banks to access funds from TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) that they can use to help fund small business loans.

The Obama administration has struggled to figure out what to do for small businesses and has spent months trying to get their initial program off of the ground.

The White House has faced criticism on multiple fronts related to small banks and small-business lending. Many community banks have complained the Bush and Obama administrations moved swiftly to help direct taxpayer money to large banks but made it harder for community banks to qualify. Small businesses have also complained existing government programs don't do enough to free up credit for their needs.

The Treasury Department is still working out details of the program, including how much it will cost banks to participate in the effort. The administration wants to make it less expensive for banks to access TARP funds by reducing the 5% dividend that financial institutions must currently pay, according to people familiar with the matter.

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