Focus on Congress
Legislation provides entrepreneurs with loans and assistance
From U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act of 2017, a bill introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla. The bill, which passed unanimously, reforms the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan program and will give small business owners greater access to loans of up to $50,000.
“As a former businesswoman, I know that access to capital is the greatest challenge facing new and growing businesses. That’s why I’m proud my Microloan bill passed the House with bipartisan support,” said Murphy, who serves on the House Small Business Committee. “Obtaining a loan can mean the difference between a small business starting up and succeeding or struggling and shuttering. This bill will help jump-start new businesses and create jobs in central Florida by connecting more entrepreneurs to the capital they need to start and grow their enterprises. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to join the House in supporting small business owners around the country by approving my legislation.”
Under the Microloan program, SBA makes loans to nonprofit organizations known as intermediaries, who in turn make short-term loans to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers. Murphy’s bill would increase the total amount an intermediary can borrow from SBA from $5 million to $6 million, giving small businesses and entrepreneurs greater access to Microloans.
The bill would also enable intermediaries to use a larger percentage of the technical assistance grants they receive from SBA in order to help small business owners navigate the Microloan application process and position themselves to obtain a loan. The Microloan program is particularly helpful to small business owners with little or no credit history, women and minority business owners, and entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional bank loans or even for the larger loan guarantee programs that SBA administers.
Economic growth and job creation have been among Murphy’s main areas of focus since arriving in Congress. She has authored or co-led numerous bipartisan bills designed to empower central Florida’s job creators and working families. For example, Murphy successfully included an amendment in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act—which was passed by the House earlier this month—that will help high-tech small businesses obtain federal funding to produce innovative products that could later be commercialized. She also teamed up with Congressman Dave Brat, R-Va., to introduce H.R.2835, the Veteran Small Business Export Promotion Act, which would exempt veterans from paying upfront fees associated with SBA’s export loan programs, allowing thousands of veterans to invest more of their hard-earned money towards the growth of their enterprise.
To read Rep. Murphy’s House floor remarks prior to the passage of her Microloan bill, click here.
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and SmallBusiness Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.