Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi returned to the Mission District last week, once again to discuss solutions to small business owners. 15 owners gathered to hear Pelosi’s offering of new ideas to their problems and to discuss their ongoing concern of lack of access to financial resources and loans.
Existing legislation has been yet unsuccessful in assisting small business owners in their quest to obtain loans, but Pelosi reassured her audience that she was on their side. “We’re going to act upon your suggestions. … We don’t waste your time,” she vowed.
Pelosi has asked nearly 200 additional congressional representatives to do as she has done by speaking with small business owners in their districts about how the federal government can do more to help.
“Knowing that our businesses are going through difficult economic times, not having access to credit is a great obstacle,” said Victor Bianco, who spoke on behalf of the Latin Business Network. “The barriers we are facing are really enormous. Banks are not giving out credit so easily.”
So far, only $4 billion has been allocated to small banks for loans to small businesses, compared to the $30 billion promised by the Small Business Jobs Act, which passed last year.
“I’m not completely satisfied with the results, but at least it’s a good path to start with,” Pelosi said. She added, “I want to make sure that whoever is getting that money in this area is using it for the correct purpose, not to make sure their bank has more resources, but to actually lend to the small businesses.”
While the current level of assistance has received lackluster response from the district’s small business owners, Pelosi’s dedication to the matter offers hope. “I think it’s a challenge, and will take time and a lot of work to get things back on track,” said Erick Arguello, a small business owner. “But I think having a meeting like this, where we get to speak face to face, always has a greater impact.”
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