Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutionsby Former Senator Mary L. Landrieu
Posted on 2013-03-12
S. 537. A bill to require the Small Business Administration to make
information relating to lenders making covered loans publicly
available, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Small Business
Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I remain focused on the needs of small businesses. Much of what we do on the committee involves overseeing the Small Business Administration's contracting, counseling, and capital programs, and we are always looking for ways to improve them. As our country slowly recovers the economic downturn, one of the most pressing issues facing small business owners is access to capital.
In the past two fiscal years alone, the Small Business Administration, SBA, supported over $30 billion in loans to approximately 60,000 small businesses each year through its 7(a) and 504/CDC lending programs. As of September 2012, there were over 2,400 SBA lenders nationwide. While the SBA currently releases some information publicly about SBA lending activity, it is extremely difficult to find and comprehend if you are not an SBA lending professional. If a small business, mayor, or governor wants to determine SBA lending activity in their area, they lack the ability to do so easily.
I come to the floor today to introduce a bill that would increase accountability at the SBA in its lending reporting activity. The Communicating Lender Activity Reports from the Small Business Administration, CLEAR SBA, Act would require the SBA to establish an online database to provide consumers with more transparent, user- friendly data about their local SBA lenders.
More specifically, the CLEAR SBA Act would require the SBA to post a user friendly Lender Activity Index on the SBA website. Users will be able to access the following data for any given bank: name of bank or Certified Development Company, CDC, number of SBA loans each lender made, total dollar amount of SBA loans of each bank or CDC, zip code of lender activity, not where every single loan was made, but a list of every zip code where the bank has made an SBA loan, industries lent to, hospitality, manufacturing, service, software, etc., stage of business cycle, new, or existing business, and business specific information, i.e. Women Owned Businesses, Minority Owned Businesses, or Veteran Owned Businesses. Data will be available for the year to date and users will be able to compare to 3 previous fiscal years. Both quarterly and annual data will be included.
I would like to emphasize that this proposal has already received bipartisan support. In the 112th Congress, the SBA Lender Activity Index was included as a provision in Title II of the SUCCESS Act. On July 12, 2012, the Senate voted on the SUCCESS Act. On July 12, 2012, the Senate voted on the SUCCESS Act as part of Senate Amendment 2521 to S. 2237, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012. Although the amendment came up short of the 60 votes needed to end debate, the SUCCESS Act received a strong 57 bipartisan votes, including five of my Republican colleagues. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together in support of this common sense proposal to increase transparency and accountability at the SBA.
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record as follows: S. 537 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Communicating Lender Activity Reports from the Small Business Administration Act'' or the ``CLEAR SBA Act''.
SEC. 2. SBA LENDER ACTIVITY INDEX.
Section 4 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 633) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(g) SBA Lender Activity Index.-- ``(1) Definition.--In this subsection, the term `covered loan' means a loan made or debenture issued under this Act or the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 661 et seq.) by a private individual or entity.
``(2) Requirement.--Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall make publicly available on the website of the Administration a user-friendly database of information relating to lenders making covered loans (to be known as the `Lender Activity Index').
``(3) Data included.-- ``(A) In general.--The database made available under paragraph (2) shall include, for each lender making a covered loan-- ``(i) the name of the lender; ``(ii) the number of covered loans made by the lender; ``(iii) the total dollar amount of covered loans made by the lender; ``(iv) a list of each ZIP Code in which a recipient of a covered loan made by the lender is located; ``(v) a list of the industries of the recipients to which the lender made a covered loan; ``(vi) whether the covered loan is for an existing business or a new business; ``(vii) the number and total dollar amount of covered loans made by the lender to-- ``(I) small business concerns owned and controlled by women; ``(II) socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns (as defined in section 8(a)(4)(A)); and [[Page S1713]] ``(III) small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans; and ``(viii) whether the covered loan was made under section 7(a) or under the program to provide financing to small business concerns through guarantees of loans under title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.).
``(B) Incorporation of data.--The Administrator shall-- ``(i) include in the database made available under paragraph (2) information relating to covered loans made during fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013; and ``(ii) incorporate information relating to covered loans on an ongoing basis.
``(C) Period of data availability.--The Administrator shall retain information relating to a covered loan in the database made available under paragraph (2) until not earlier than the end of the third fiscal year beginning after the fiscal year during which the covered loan was made.''.