U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) announced last week that the Small Business Administration will improve certain services in the wake of the recent Congressional field hearing in Queens, which probed the agency’s poor outreach to local small businesses.
The hearing, held at Queens College by the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce this past March, examined why emerging businesses, startups and minority small-business owners in Queens struggle to use federal programs that they are entitled to utilize. Meng, who helped arrange the hearing, serves as the panel’s Ranking Member.
The changes that the SBA will be implementing are intended to expand access to SBA loans for underserved small-business owners. The difficulty of receiving such loans was among the complaints from witnesses who testified at the hearing.
The SBA’s changes will also benefit local banks, since the improvements will make it easier for financial institutions to underwrite SBA loans. Meng plans to sponsor a presentation on the changes this summer so that area banks can write more loans for borough entrepreneurs. The event, which is still in the planning stages, is expected to take place in Queens and include officials from local banks and the SBA.