Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced the Small Business Clean Energy Financing Act, legislation that aims to help small businesses in the clean energy sector gain access to financing.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides, on average, $13 billion annually for the 7(a) program, and only a small portion of these loans go to clean energy companies. Matsui says her new legislation would help fill that gap by directing the SBA to establish a clean energy program within the 7(a) loan program in order to bring greater attention to the gap in capital accessibility for this sector.
The legislation would not authorize new funds for the clean energy sector, but instead allow the SBA to utilize its existing budget authority to address the needs of clean energy businesses. Furthermore, it is well known that the SBA adheres to stringent underwriting standards, and this bill would continue to apply such standards to clean energy financing.
"Time and again, I have heard from Sacramento small businesses that the biggest obstacle they are facing in our current economic climate is access to capital," Matsui says. "Clean energy small businesses are having a particularly difficult time.
"Loans are necessary to help our small businesses keep operating, expanding and hiring, and it is essential that we do not let the recession set our clean energy sector back even further," she adds. "We need to act for our clean energy future by assisting our innovative small businesses."