Small Biz Wants Loan Breaks Reinstated

Small business groups and lenders urged Congress to reinstate the 90 percent government guarantee and fee reductions on SBA loans. The economic stimulus bill provided the SBA with $375 million to increase the loan guarantee on the agency’s flagship 7(a) business loans to 90 percent and reduce or eliminate fees on 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which primarily finance real estate. That money, however, has run out.

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Small business loans: $10 billion evaporates

Catherine Clifford reports at CNNMoney.com that eight months after President Obama began prodding the nation’s banks to increase their small business lending, the loan numbers continue to move in the opposite direction. The 22 banks that got the most help from the Treasury’s bailout programs cut their small business loan balances by a collective $10.5 billion over the past six months, according to a government report released Monday. Three of the 22 banks make no small business loans at all. Of the remaining 19 banks, 15 have reduced their small business loan balance since April, when the Treasury department began requiring the biggest banks receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to report monthly on their small business lending.

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Dunkin’ Brands says CIT bankruptcy won’t affect stores

Christa Hoyland reports at QSRWeb.com that Commercial lender CIT Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy Sunday to cut $10 billion in debt after a U.S. bailout and debt exchange offer failed this summer. CIT said operations will proceed as normal and it plans to exit bankruptcy next month, according to a story by Bloomberg.

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Dunkin’ Franchise Owners in Presidential Spotlight

On October 21, President Barack Obama announced important new steps his Administration is taking to support small businesses. During his speech, the President referred to a few specific small business owners, including Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner Andy Cabral who was in attendance along with several International Franchise Association (IFA) members and Maria Icaza, also a Dunkin’ franchise owner. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills flanked the President during the speech, which took place at Metropolitan Archives, a small family-operated records storage company in Landover, Maryland.

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One Day Older, $2.3 Billion Poorer

Who loses in the CIT bankruptcy? That’s easy: all of us taxpayers. And who triumphs? Private enterprise in the form of Carl Icahn. Gary Weiss writes in Portfolio.com So how was your weekend? I don’t know about you, but I woke up Monday morning poorer by $2.3 billion.

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Lender CIT Files for Bankruptcy

The Boston Business Journal reports that CIT Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday after its board of directors approved of a plan to reorganize the giant small business lender. The plan has also been approved by CIT’s creditors. “The decision to proceed with our plan of reorganization will allow CIT to continue to provide funding to our small business and middle market customers, two sectors that remain vitally important to the U.S. economy,” Chief Executive Jeffrey Peek said in a statement.

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Citizens Bank Sale Subject to Speculation

Tim Mclaughlin reports in the Boston Business Journal that Citizens Bank could get a new owner if the European Commission forces parent company Royal Bank of Scotland to sell more assets than what executives originally anticipated.
RBS, whose shares fell as much as 13 percent Monday, said in a brief statement that negotiations with the EC will include some divestments not initially contemplated.

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Obama Asks for SBA Loan Expansion, Franchisees Agree

Don Sniegowski reports at BlueMauMau that President Barack Obama announced plans Wednesday afternoon to shift some of Wall Street’s bailout funds over to community banks in order to spur lending to small businesses, which has slowed to a trickle. With SBA administrator Karen Mills and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner flanking him, President Obama made several announcements to boost small business.

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Obama: Still “A Long Way To Go” to Help Small Businesses

Henry Pulizzi of the New York Times rports that President Barack Obama unveiled initiatives to help small businesses, saying the U.S. has “a long way to go” to ensure that credit flows to an area of the economy hit hard by the recession.

“There is still too little credit flowing to our small businesses. There are still too many entrepreneurs who can’t get the loan they need to open their doors and start hiring,” Obama said in a speech at Landover, Md.-based Metropolitan Archives, a family-owned firm that stores and delivers paper files for large companies.

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Icahn offers CIT Group $6 billion loan

Stephen Bernard reports at Kansas City.com that activist investor Carl Icahn is offering struggling lender CIT Group a $6 billion lifeline. In a letter Monday to CIT’s board of directors, Icahn said he would give the company the loan to replace a debt restructuring plan CIT has asked bondholders to approve.

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