Durbin Chairs Hearing on Funding for Programs that Aid Small Businesses and Distressed Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY12 budgets of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) Fund today, where he highlighted the important work these agencies do to improve our economy and our communities.


"In the face of recent pressure to reduce the federal deficit, I’ve made it a priority to maintain investments in SBA and CDFI programs because of their proven impact on job creation and revitalization of our communities," Durbin said. "As our economy continues to recover, we have to wisely invest our limited resources in programs that will help its continued growth. SBA and CDFI programs are vital to our recovery and will continue to have my support."


The FY12 budget requests $985 million for SBA programs, an increase of $256 million (35%) compared to the FY11 enacted level. The funding increase will allow the SBA to continue their focus of providing business, disaster and micro loans to American businesses. Partnering with private lenders, SBA will guarantee more that $20 billion in small business loans this year.


The FY12 budget request for the CDFI Fund is $227 million, equal to last year’s enacted level. The Treasury Department estimates that this investment will generate more than $2 billion in private investment.


SBA Administrator Karen Mills and CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell testified at today’s hearing.


Also testifying at today’s hearing were two Illinois witnesses: Warner Cruz, 2010 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year; and Calvin Holmes, President of the Chicago Community Loan Fund.


Cruz, President of J.C. Restoration – a full service disaster restoration company - testified that with the help of an SBA loan, he was able to grow his small business and help Illinois families recover from floods and other disasters. Holmes testified that with the continued support of the CDFI Fund, the Chicago Community Loan Fund has grown to one of the 10 largest CDFIs in the state, helping secure nearly a billion in public-private loans for Illinois development projects.


Copies of the witnesses’ prepared remarks are attached and a webcast of the full hearing can be found here.