In extolling "glimmers of hope" for an economic recovery, President Barack Obama today said the Small Business Administration's most-popular loan program has expanded by 20 percent since March, when he announced stronger federal guarantees for SBA-adminsitered credit.
"We feel very good about the progress that we're making in unlocking lending in some particular markets, for example the small business area," Obama told reporters at the White House. "Some of you will recall that a couple of weeks ago we made a presentation about how we were going to help thaw lending to small businesses, and I'm pleased to discover that because of our actions we've seen a 20 percent increase in the largest SBA loan program in the last month alone.
"And what that means is that small businesses are starting to get money that allows them to keep their doors open, make payroll," he said, "and that is going to contribute to our overall economic growth, as well as help make sure that people are able to keep their jobs."
Obama also cited increases in home loan refinancing, which he said is helping to stabilize the housing market that is at the heart of the recession.
" ... We're starting to see progress," he said. "And if we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track."