Treasury Trying to Grease Small-Business-Lending Wheels


The Treasury Department is holding a conference next month that is set to focus on finding ways to "expand access to capital" for small business owners across the country.

This week, Secretary Tim Geithner announced the implementation of two new lending programs for small businesses which were created under the Small Business Jobs Act.  He also announced details about the conference, to be held at the Treasury Department on March 22, which will aim to “reduce challenges of raising capital at each stage of growth for a small business—from seed capital, to growth equity, to accessing the public markets,” Geithner wrote in a blog post.

One of the lending programs, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, is expected to create more than $15 billion in small business lending. Funding of more than $3 billion has already been awarded to California, Michigan and North Carolina, according to Geithner.

The second program, the Small Business Lending Fund, is designed to spark lending to businesses through the provision of low-cost capital to small banks with assets under $10 billion. The first round of loans to be awarded will be announced within the next few weeks, according to the Treasury secretary.

“The government cannot create success, but it is our obligation to reduce the barriers that get in the way of success,” he wrote. “Direct and open conversations between government and entrepreneurs about how we can meet the challenges small businesses face are key to our success in these efforts.”