In an unusually fast approval for Congress, the SBA 7(a) authorization level was increased to $23.5 billion effective July 28, 2015. This ended a short-lived program shut down that began on July 23, 2015. In a program release notice, Ann Marie Mehlum, Associate Administrator for Capital Access, explained the reopening of the SBA 7(a) program to lenders:
“The purpose of this notice is to announce that a bill to increase the lending authority for the 7(a) loan program to $23.5 billion for FY 2015 was passed by Congress and signed by the President. As a result, effective this afternoon, SBA is again able to guarantee 7(a) loans this fiscal year. Requests in the existing queue will be funded first, followed by new loan guarantee requests, which will be processed as usual.
SBA is evaluating the additional provisions of the new law and will be providing further guidance as necessary. We appreciate the patience of our borrowers and lenders and look forward to continuing to serve the small business community through the 7(a) loan program.”
“My guess is Congress was looking for any bipartisan bill that could get approved at a time in which the citizens of this country are not happy with the ability of our lawmakers to get anything done,” commented Michael D. Sneden, Executive Vice President at ValueXpress. “This self-supporting, job creating program thankfully was a no-brainer for both parties and the President.”