In reviewing the social media groups I participate in and the content posted on places like Twitter and Facebook recently, it’s obvious to me that there are still a great many questions about the stimulus plan and what, if any, benefits it will provide to small businesses.
A recent news release by the New Jersey SBA office indicates, “The Small Business Administration will soon roll out major changes to its loan programs — including increased government guarantees and lower fees — in an effort to help small businesses get through the recession, according to Jim Kocsi, New Jersey district director for the agency. The SBA will guarantee 90 percent of the loan in its largest program, 7A, up from 85 percent for loans under $150,000 and 75 percent for loans between $150,000 and $2 million. An SBA loan is a loan made by a bank or other lender, then partially guaranteed by the federal government. Through the end of 2010, the agency also will waive the guarantee fee, which is charged to the lender but passed on to the borrower, Kocsi said. In effect, the fee reduces the amount of money the borrower can use, since part of the loan goes to pay the fee. “To give you an idea of the impact — on a $2 million loan, the fee is $53,000,” he said.”
News release notwithstanding, it still doesn’t indicate what type of businesses will be helped, when the money will be available, how to qualify, and any of a dozen other questions that small businesses need to know answers to. That being the case, I thought you might be interested in an upcoming Web Chat the SBA will be hosting on March 19th, the topic of which will be helping small business owners get answers to questions about the stimulus plan and its impact on small business in the U.S. The news release announcing this web chat and providing access information is shown below.
WASHINGTON – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be the focus of discussion for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s March Web chat. SBA Associate Administrator for Capital Access Eric Zarnikow will help small business owners get answers to their questions about what the Recovery Act means for the nation’s small businesses.
The Recovery Act is a national effort to grow the U.S. economy by stimulating job creation, freeing credit markets, and investing in small business. The Act contains a package of loan fee reductions, higher guarantees, new SBA programs, secondary market incentives, and enhancements to current SBA programs that will help unlock credit markets and begin economic recovery for the nation’s small business sector.
SBA is working to enact the new programs created by the passage of the bill and make changes to the programs already in existence. Additional information on the Recovery Act is available online at www.sba.gov/recovery/index.html.
WHO: Eric Zarnikow, associate administrator for the Office of Capital Access at the U.S. Small Business Administration will host the SBA’s March Web chat on the topic “The Recovery Act and Your Small Business.” Zarnikow will answer a range of questions to help chat participants understand the elements of the Recovery Act that pertain to the SBA and the nation’s small businesses.
WHAT: SBA’s Web chat series, providing small business owners with an opportunity to chat about relevant business issues online with experts, industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs. Chat participants will have direct, real-time access to the Web chats via questions they submit online, both in advance of and during the live session.
WHEN: March 19, 2009, 1 – 2 p.m. ET
HOW: Participants can join the live Web chat by going online to www.sba.gov, and clicking the “Online Business Chat” icon. Web chat participants may post questions for Zarnikow before the March 19th chat by visiting http://app1.sba.gov/liveMeeting/mar09/, and posting their questions online.