Summary: S.1857 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (09/15/2015)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Microloan Modernization Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Small Business Act with respect to the rule under the Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan Program (assisting low-income individuals to start and operate a small business) that permits SBA-designated microloan intermediary lenders to expend up to 25% of the grant funds they receive from the SBA to provide information and technical assistance to small business concerns that are their prospective borrowers.

(Sec. 3) The total amount of loans outstanding and committed to any particular intermediary (excluding outstanding grants) from the SBA business loan and investment fund is increased from $5 million to $6 million for the remaining years of the intermediary's participation in the program.

(Sec. 4) The SBA must establish a process by which these microloan intermediaries may apply for, and the SBA may grant, a waiver of this 25/75 allocation.

This rule shall require any waiver applicant to:

  • specify how it will use the additional technical assistance, and
  • make assurances that the intermediary will have sufficient funds to provide technical assistance to all of the intermediary's borrowers.

(Sec. 5) An eligible intermediary may include lines of credit among the short-term, fixed rate loans it makes to startup, newly established, and growing small business concerns from SBA funds made available to the intermediary for working capital and the acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

(Sec. 6) The SBA may not impose limitations on the repayment term of a loan by an intermediary to a small business or entrepreneur. This repayment term, however, may not exceed:

  • 6 years for a loan of $10,000 or less, or
  • 10 years for a loan greater than $10,000.

(Sec. 7) The Government Accountability Office shall:

  • compare the operations of a representative sample of eligible intermediaries that participate in the microloan program and of eligible intermediaries that do not,
  • study the reasons why the latter do not participate,
  • recommend how to encourage increased participation by intermediaries in the microloan program, and
  • recommend how to decrease the associated costs for intermediary participation.