WASHINGTON - House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) continued the Committee's ongoing probe of management at the Small Business Administration (SBA) today with a hearing focused on the SBA's Access to Capital Offices.
Today's panel examined the SBA's Office of Capital Access (OCA) and Office of Credit Risk Management (OCRM) and whether improvements within these Offices are necessary to ensure sufficient lender oversight and effectiveness in helping small firms obtain capital.
"As the SBA’s lending portfolio continues to grow, it will become even more vital that these two offices work together to establish clear guidance and ensure the integrity of the lending programs,” Chairman Chabot said.“I remain concerned that mismanagement at SBA could well be detracting from the integrity of these key financing programs.”
“We must keep these programs relevant and cost effective for lenders who make loans to small businesses. For 2016 both the 7(a) and 504 programs have returned to zero subsidy.” said Ann Marie Mehlum, the Associate Administrator of Capital Access for SBA. She noted that SBA loans to women have increased by twenty percent over the previous year and loans to veterans increased by 103 percent.
“SBA is particularly interested in balancing the growing credit needs of America’s small businesses with prudent lending, always ensuring that we are meeting the requirements of our mission as defined in the Small Business Act,”said Linda Rusche, Director of Office of Credit Risk Management at SBA. “My mission, and that of the entire Office of Credit Risk Management, is to effectively manage program credit risk, monitor lender performance, and enforce lending program requirements. In short, our mission is to maintain the integrity and viability of the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs.”
The hearing comes after a blistering report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailing widespread mismanagement at the agency that may affect the ability of small businesses to access capital vital to their success in a timely and efficient manner. SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet responded to the report and concerns from Committee members about SBA mismanagement last week.