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Phillips, Timmons Introduce Bipartisan "Small Business Borrowers' Bill Of Rights"

Today, in honor of National Small Business Week, Representatives Dean Phillips (D-MN) and William Timmons (R-SC) introduced a resolution to advocate for small businesses and promote an environment that provides fair, competitive, and transparent access to capital.

The digital economy has created more funding streams for small business owners than ever before. Efforts are being made to provide new and innovative ways for borrowers to access the capital necessary to grow their businesses, but these efforts can make it easier for bad actors to enter the marketplace.  The resolution lists the rights of small business owners seeking financing, expresses the House’s support for these principles, and declares that they should be used as a framework for future legislation to protect small business.

The full bill text can be found here.

“I have co-owned and operated small businesses for my entire career, so I know the importance of access to capital and the need to be protected from predatory lending,” said Phillips. “Minnesota small businesses create jobs, enrich our communities and power our economy. We need to do all we can to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful.”

“As a small businesses owner, I understand the important role small businesses play in our economy,” Timmons said. “Small businesses are a critical component of America’s competitiveness, and Congress should work to promote an environment in which they can thrive.”

“As the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, I hear frequently about the challenges entrepreneurs face in securing financing to grow their operations and create jobs,” said Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).  “Online lending can help fill in gaps in traditional capital markets, but we need to be certain these new mechanisms don’t open the door to predatory, unfair lending practices. This resolution will help achieve the balance of ensuring new sources of capital remain available, while protecting small businesses from unscrupulous actors.”

The Responsible Business Lending Coalition also voiced their support: “The Responsible Business Lending Coalition developed the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights based on a shared commitment to innovation in small business lending aimed at making credit more accessible, as well as serious concerns with the rise of irresponsible lending practices that threaten the survival and vitality of small businesses and the communities that depend on them. We applaud this bipartisan effort to articulate the fundamental rights that all small business owners seeking financing deserve.”

There are more than 500,000 small businesses in Minnesota, which account for 99.5% of all businesses in the state.

From 2000 to 2017, small businesses created 8.4 million net new jobs in the United States – more than two thirds of all net new jobs created in that period.