Ernst sponsors bill increasing federal loans for specific U.S.-based small businesses

American small businesses principally engaged in agriculture, manufacturing or production of critical and emerging technologies would be able to access more capital from federal lending programs under legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

“As inflation and the supply chain crisis continue to make life more difficult for everyday Iowans, it’s become clear we need to reduce our dependence on foreign entities and encourage domestic production and manufacturing,” Sen. Ernst said.

The American Small Business Competition Act of 2022, S. 3682, which Sen. Ernst sponsored on Feb. 17, would increase access to capital under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) business loan program and its 504 loan program, according to the text of the bill. 

“This commonsense legislation will help critical businesses in Iowa and across the country — from agriculture to manufacturing to national security — access necessary capital to grow and compete here at home and in turn protect the health, safety and financial security of all Americans,” said Sen. Ernst. 

Specifically, S. 3682 would double loan maximums under the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs for small businesses outlined by the National Security Council’s Critical and Emerging Technologies list, according to the bill’s text, which notes that qualified, eligible businesses would receive increased loan amounts if they are headquartered in the United States.

Additionally, the bill would require eligible businesses to report any foreign beneficial ownership to the SBA when applying for loan assistance, the text says.

According to Sen. Ernst’s office, the bill includes report language from the SBA Administrator on the cost of capital for small businesses per industry as a result of inflation and supply chain disruption over the last three years and would recommend how to support access to capital for these small businesses.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry supports S. 3682.