February 2nd, 2010
03:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama calls for $30 billion small business lending fund

President Obama took questions from voters after announcing his plan for a small business lending fund in New Hampshire Tuesday.
President Obama took questions from voters after announcing his plan for a small business lending fund in New Hampshire Tuesday.

New York (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama called on Congress Tuesday to recycle $30 billion of the remaining Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds into a new government lending program offering super-cheap capital to community banks that boost their small business lending this year.

Touted last week in Obama's State of the Union address, the plan is the latest incarnation of a proposal the president first floated in October. While credit conditions for large businesses have improved over the past year, small companies are still widely reporting problems finding the capital they need to fund their operations.

Since small businesses employ about half of American workers, policymakers worry that the ongoing credit crunch they face is contributing to the nation's high rate of job losses. Improving the job market "must be our No. 1 focus in 2010," Obama said last week.

At a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Obama unveiled his proposed new Small Business Lending Fund. The initiative targets banks with assets of under $10 billion, which collectively account for more than half of the nation's small business lending, according to White House estimates.

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com • TARP
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Mike in MN

    Looks like a good idea as long as the government doesn't go too far and preasure banks to give out risky small business just like they did with home loans. If they don't dictate to the banks who they have to borrow to and let the banks make their own decisions, it could help.

    February 2, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. MATT

    since obama took office, with this proposed budget he will have spent about 5 to 6 trillion anfd he only has 30 billion for small business lending that should have been a priority last year instead of wasting it..

    February 2, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. RealityKing

    Once again Obama offers a hope filled message.., ignorant of reality.

    February 2, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Kat

    They just don't get it!! As a small business owner, it's not that we can't expand, it's that we won't because of this administrations decisions. I think a lot of people feel the same way. We may expand when this nut gets out of office, if we are still in business with all his wreckless taxes and this stupid healthcare plan. What a bunch of idiots we have in Washington.

    February 2, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Mike in MN

    Can't tell is Obama really want to help business or not. On the one hand he wants to help them get the loans they need and now wants to cut their capital gains tax, something McCain campaigned on and Obama rejected as a bad idea. On the other hand Obama wants to force business to provide health insurance or pay a fine and to pay more for energy if cap and trade is passed. Just saw Obama take a question in N.H from a man who asked why not promote and develop green energy technology to help us move from foreign oil, create jobs and export the technology, but hold off on cap and trade which would tax and punish carbon based energy. Obama made it clear that carbon based energy is much cheaper than alternative green energy and so to remove from people and business the choice of staying with the cheaper choice, cap and trade will make carbon energy more expensive and remove the option of staying with a cheaper energy choice. So government is going to make everyone, rich and poor and all businesses pay more for energy whether it is carbon based or green. It will manipulate the free market system to remove choice from the American people and raise everyones cost of energy and the cost of all goods and services that use energy whether it comes from carbon based energy or green.

    February 2, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Jane/Seattle

    I am NOT fooled! This is who needed to get these funds all along. All the money needed to be offered to those losing their jobs for Training family sustenance, fixing the bad morgages, and more.

    That this administration hired nothing but "Shock Doctors" (Naomi Klein) IS the most Telling Fact of all. LAWS NEED TO BE IMMEDIATELY PASSED TO REGULATE CORPORATIONS, not reward them for Failure and Fraud! Then up jumps the Supreme "Activist" Court to throw another blow at the People, as if buying elections has not always been the American Way!

    SHOW US THE REGULATIONS and STOP TRYING TO OBFUSCATE – THROWING CRUMBS AT THE CITIZENS WHO PAY ALL YOUR BILLS! WAR, WAR, AND MORE WAR! Rule for Capitalism: You take the risk and FAIL, You Go Down! Bush et al shoved it down our collective throats with the bankruptcy laws. Why does this not also apply to these "too big to fail" types? Answer: Because they all run this Fascist country!

    February 2, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Michelle

    Since the Republicans are convinced that the key to recovery is investing in small business, I am sure they will support this intelligent proposal from our President. What? They no longer think that small businesses help the economy? What about selling insurance across state lines? No? Tort reform? No? The fact that many of the health care discussions WERE on C-Span should at least get the President an apology. No?
    Gosh, it almost seems as if the Republicans want the country even further in a hole so they can swoop in and make it worse come November. No? Are you sure?

    February 2, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. D.U.T.C.H.

    I say give all the money to the community banks since they're to small to fail.

    February 2, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Ethan

    Can't wait for the Republicans to oppose Obama's helping small business.

    February 2, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Another Dumb Right Winger

    Not another "socialist" program. Why do we need government at all?

    February 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. D.

    A drop in the bucket...
    Spending in trillions and supporting in millions is a smoke screen at best.

    February 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Showtime - Tampa

    BHO will bankrupt this country before he is done.

    February 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Ryan

    Too bad the GOP has these small business' convinced that they'll be taxed beyond repair.

    Nevermind the fact that every boogey man rumor the GOP has stated about President Obama and his "tax hikes" has still not happened.

    First they say he's dangerous then they say he's incompetent...then he's a socialist..next he's a liberal...then a communist....

    Meanwhile, the GOP has done NOTHING for us. Ever. This economic failure began with them – and if it didn't then it's STILL their problem for not effectively fixing things when they were in power!

    February 2, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Kate

    What is wrong with using the TARP money for small busniess? Nothing in my opinion. However, Judd Gregg has already came down on Peter Orzag...not suprising though. The republicans are just a party of no no no. If the republicans really wanted to help this country, they wouldn't walk away from their own proposals when they find out Pres. Obama is ready to adopt their proposals. So don't give Obama the blame. The republicans said they wanted our president to fail and they are seeing that it happens. Shame on the republicans.

    February 2, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. southerncousin

    And this inept idiot just keeps spending our money. The very last liberal president this country will ever have.

    February 2, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Debby

    It might be to late there is NO work out there for the small buisness owner because bigger companies aren't putting out, in any venue. Small buisness owners especially in construction need the bigger guy to sub us out. Manufacturing and construction keep the economy going for employers and employees. Obama should put a freeze on payroll taxes till things get better. This is one way that the small buisness owner can save on and not have to borrow from the bank.

    February 2, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Sam Sixpack

    We gave $1 thousand billion to bankers so they would keep lending money. The banks then lent that money at super great rates to big corporations and turned a big profit. How does $30 billion (3%) more make these same folks lend any of it to small businesses – why won’t they just shuffle the money amongst themselves again?

    February 2, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. duckunder

    Kat – I'm ready to expand my business, if you don't want to and want to blame it on Obama, so be it. I'd rather be making money and helping my employees.

    February 2, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Showtime - Tampa

    Ryan who are you kidding obviously you need to pay a little more attention...BHO has stated from day one that he was going to allow the 01-03 tax cuts to expire (you know the ones that decreased the rates of every single tax bracket, eliminated the Marriage penalty, reduced capital gains tax and increased the EIC credit) which is an increase on EVERY ONE....

    Article today on Rueters came out and stated this:

    The Obama administration’s plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade relies heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families. In the 2010 budget tabled by President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House wants to let billions of dollars in tax breaks expire by the end of the year — effectively a tax hike by stealth.

    But keep sipping the Kool-aid and keep the blinders on as BHO continues to lead the country to bankruptcy.

    February 2, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Marc

    Now for the 'TAX CUT!!! TAX CUT!!!!! TAX CUT!!!!!!' Republican Economy Specialist to say that this won't gonna help to create jobs in 3...2...1...

    February 2, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    As long as the government needs more than 50% of everyone’s and every business income paid to them first, Freedom and Liberty will be lost.
    We have nothing but taxes and fees on everything and soon the very air we breathe will be taxed thanks to the cap & trade bill.
    At least I know that there is no difference between the two major parties, keep voting for those people to pretend to be your representatives and you will receive the same treatment we have had in the last 50 years. More taxes less jobs, and recession leading to another recession. Our high taxes supporting an over bloated Government removes your right to choose what you do with your money. That is Tyranny!

    February 2, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. John

    Government backed loans to help small businesses?

    Silly people. That would be socialism

    Government backed loans are only for large, poorly managed banks and insurance companies.

    February 2, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Average American

    Do you right wingers care what you oppose or will you oppose anything that President Obama proposes? I believe it is the latter. How can anyone be against using the money collected from the big banks to help small businesses expand and put Americans back to work???? Your blind hate will bring you down.

    February 2, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Aaaaw, looks like the crazies are back at it again....trying to put the GOP talking points in my mouth....how cute.

    Graham: "We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war."

    So declare one or shut the hell up. Oh wait, that's right, you can't really declare war on a non-nation state group of individuals loosely defined by shared ideological dogma. Oh well, looks like the "war" rhetoric is just as nonsensical as the "tough on crime" rhetoric.

    "it's not that we can't expand, it's that we won't because of this administrations decisions."

    I guess all those small businesses complaining to local, state and federal representatives and elected officials are just lying to hide that they don't rally want or need credit to be freed up and more access to loans to float their workers' salaries, buy their stock, capitalize improvements, etc.? You're so way off base it's not even funny. YOU may operate your business based on crazy economic ideology and purely political principles, but most small business owners I know will take their help where and when they can get it when times get rough...they've got their own families and futures and those of their employees to worry about.

    February 2, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Tom

    Stop asking for more taxpayer money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take 30 billion from the 500 billion that is left from the stimulus that you stole from the american people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ASKING TO STEAL MORE MONEY FROM THE TAXPAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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