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SBA Hits FY2015 Lending Limit, Amendment to Raise Cap Voted
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 6:40 AM

On Sunday, the Small Business Administration reached its 7(a) lending limit of $18.75 million for fiscal year 2015. Accordingly, the 7(a) program is suspended until it is reauthorized for additional funds by Congress, or until its new appropriation takes effect on Oct. 1.

The SBA has said it has experienced unprecedented demand this year, approving more than 45,000 loans for upwards of $16.5 billion. Loans comprising the remaining $2 billion under the cap are currently being processed, as there are sufficient funds for loans already accepted for processing by the agency’s Loan Guaranty Processing Center.

The SBA guarantees up to 85 percent of loans made under the 7(a) program. For credit unions, the guaranteed portion of the loan does not count toward the statutory member business lending cap of 12.25 percent of a credit union's assets. As of March 30, according to CUNA data, 377 credit unions have a 7(a) program.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, along with Sens. Jim Risch (R-ID) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment July 23 to the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 (H.R. 2499) that would raise the cap to $23.5 billion. The amendment was adopted.

H.R. 2499 went on to pass the Senate July 23, and because it was changed from the version the House passed July 13, it will head back to the House.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated in his weekly schedule Monday that H.R. 2499 could be considered under suspension of the rules this week.