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IBAA URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT INCREASED SBA FUNDING

 IBAA URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT INCREASED SBA FUNDING
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Independent Bankers


Association of America (IBAA) today urged support for increased funding for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) guaranteed loan program, which would foster new small businesses and create new job opportunities in the American economy.
 "The availability of guarantees for small business loans fosters active community bank loan programs," IBAA President Bob Hawkins told the House Small Business Committee. IBAA strongly supports the Small Business Credit Crunch Relief Act of 1992, a measure introduced by committee Chairman John LaFalce (D-N.Y.). The bill would increase funding for the SBA's 7(a) program from the current authorized level of $3.9 billion this fiscal year to $4.5 billion, to $5.5 billion in fiscal 1993 and to $6.5 billion in 1994.
 IBAA also supports the Small Business Preservation and Jobs Act of 1992 introduced by committee member Andy Ireland (R-Fla.), which would also increase the SBA's loan guarantee authority for fiscal years 1992, 1993 and 1994.
 Hawkins, the president of Southern Commercial Bank in St. Louis, urged Congress to reject the Bush administration's proposed budget cutbacks in SBA loan guarantee levels. "Any reduction in the level of guarantees provided through the SBA program will undoubtedly influence the program's credibility and continued use by community bank lenders," Hawkins noted.
 In the SBA's St. Louis District, SBA loan volume has increased 92.5 percent from the previous year, and loan volume for the Kansas City Region has increased 52.6 percent, demonstrating the effectiveness of the SBA guaranteed loan program, Hawkins said.
 In his testimony, Hawkins underscored IBAA's support of the SBA's New England Recovery Project and urged that the program be expanded to other distressed regions of the country. "We are hearing from bankers in the Mid-Atlantic states and in Southern California that economic recovery programs similar to the New England Project would prove useful," he said.
 He further urged that the SBA develop revolving lines of credit for small businesses' working capital needs. "The SBA has developed a comprehensive program for term loans," said Hawkins. "But not all credits can or should be structured as term loans."
 Hawkins also noted that community bankers are looking forward to working with the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden, who recently introduced the concept of securitizing small business loans. "We expect that the SEC will begin working with community bankers in developing this program since we originate a high volume of small business loans," he said.
 IBAA is the only national trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the nation's community banks.
 -0- 2/20/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Verdier or Marti Sworobuk of the Independent Bankers Association of America, 202-659-8111/ CO: Independent Bankers Association of America ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU: LEG


TW-MH -- DC015 -- 0894 02/20/92 11:56 EST
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Date:Feb 20, 1992
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