Himes Announces New Small Businesses Lending Program
Washington, DC—Interest-free loans to help small businesses facing short-term financial challenges are now available under a new program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Rep. Himes (CT-4) announced today. The newly launched “America’s Recovery Capital” (ARC) program allows small firms to take out loans of up to $35,000 to pay down existing business debts. Borrowers pay no interest on the ARC loans, backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and repayment does not begin for one year.
“Throughout Fairfield County, the economic downturn is keeping otherwise viable small businesses from succeeding and creating jobs,” said Congressman Himes. “The ARC program gives entrepreneurs the breathing room they need to pay their bills, retain employees and create jobs to help lead us through the economic recovery.”
To qualify for the ARC loans, small firms must demonstrate they are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the economic downturn but are otherwise viable, as deemed by the SBA. Commercial lenders will make the loans which can be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debts like credit card obligations, mortgages, lines of credit, and balances due to suppliers, vendors, and utilities.
In addition to the ARC loan program, the Recovery Act contains other measures aimed at helping small firms access credit. The new law increases the percentage of a loan that the SBA can guarantee, makes SBA-backed loans more affordable, and provides tools to unfreeze the small business credit markets, helping small companies access capital at affordable rates.
To apply for ARC loans, businesses should visit their local SBA-approved small business lenders. The loans will be available through Sept. 30, 2010, or until appropriated funding runs out. Additional information about the ARC loan program is available at http://www.sba.gov/recovery/arcloanprogram/index.html.