The U.S. Small Business Administration announced a new legislative proposal that is expected to add at least $3 billion in lending authority to the 7(a) loan program this year. If enacted, the bill would allow the agency to increase lending authority by more than 30 percent, providing money for thousands more small loans in fiscal year 2004. The bill would also remove the current lending cap of $750,000, and allow loans up to $2 million.”This proposal builds on the success of the SBA Express program, and by significantly increasing 7(a) lending authority, will allow the SBA to reach out to tens of thousands more small business owners every year,” SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto said. “The legislation provides more money for small business loans this year, at a time when the program is facing unprecedented demand.”By expanding the SBA Express program, which allows lenders to apply for 7(a) loans using their own forms and processes instead of lengthy and burdensome government forms, the entire 7(a) program would move to a lower guaranty rate of 50 percent. This reform would allow the agency to increase lending authority by over 30 percent. Based on FY 2003 numbers, that increase could have resulted in more than 22,000 additional loans to America’s entrepreneurs. If enacted for FY 2004, the lower guaranty rate and increased number of loans could provide capital to create as many as 500,000 new jobs.The proposed changes have the added benefit of moving the 7(a) program toward the goal of a permanent zero subsidy level. Preliminary data indicates that if this proposal is passed and signed into law, 7(a) could move to zero subsidy with fees that are below current congressionally mandated rates, making 7(a) loans even more attractive to small business owners and lenders.
Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats in SNL:Few options have emerged for reviving the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal in Washington following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent decision to halt permitting of the controversial project, according to stakeholders involved.On May 9, the Corps announced that it halted the permitting process for the terminal in response to a challenge from the Lummi Nation over fishing waters protected by tribal agreements. The project would have been one of the largest coal terminals ever built in the U.S.Project-backer SSA Marine, which previously suspended its own environmental review, stopped short of offering any clear plan for challenging the Corps’ decision when it was announced. However, a representative did tell S&P Global Market Intelligence that it is exploring all possible options for reviving the project.Mark Squillace, a University of Colorado law professor and former member of the U.S. Department of the Interior solicitor’s office, cast some doubt on the ability to challenge the decision in court. Squillace called the case “pretty air tight.”Specifically, Squillace cited a part of the decision that stated: “To evaluate impacts on treaty fishing rights, the Corps conducts a de minimis determination to determine whether the impacts to treaty fishing rights are of legal significance. If it is legally significant, then Congressional authorization would be required to allow the impact. The process includes request for specific information in the form of declarations regarding the Lummi’s fishing and crabbing activities at or near the proposed project.”“Importantly … the company does not appear to contest this point so it does not seem like it could be raised on appeal,” Squillace said. “And if that is indeed the legal standard, then I think the Corps has offered a solid justification for their decision.”For that reason, he said the court would be unlikely to find the Corps’ actions “arbitrary and capricious.”“It would not surprise me if the company appeals and there may be procedural issues that are not evident from the face of the decision, but on the merits I think the Corps is on pretty solid ground,” Squillace said.Full article $: https://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/article.aspx?ID=36496440&KPLT=4 Legal Expert Says Army Corps Rejection of Permit for Gateway Coal Export Terminal Looks “Pretty Air Tight”