April 16, 2010

Whitehouse Visits Pawtucket Business Helped by Federal Recovery Act Loan Program

Loan Saved 75 Jobs at Colonial Mills

Pawtucket, RI – As Rhode Island continues struggling in the wake of last year’s recession, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today visited a local business that received a $300,000 loan made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Colonial Mills, Inc., a braided rug manufacturer in Pawtucket, received the funding through a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program enhanced by provisions in the Recovery Act.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Rhode Island economy, and many were hit particularly hard during the recession even before the recent floods,” said Whitehouse. “This SBA loan program has provided hundreds of local businesses with vital access to capital to help them weather these tough times.”

Today Whitehouse heard from Colonial Mills management and staff that the $300,000 SBA-backed loan enabled the company to save 75 jobs, restructure existing debt, and secure capital to keep the company in operation. Mark Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office, was also on hand.

Since the Recovery Act became law, SBA has approved 500 loans totaling $155.5 million to Rhode Island small businesses. The Recovery Act authorized SBA to increase guarantees from 75 percent to 90 percent and eliminated fees charged to borrowers on many loans to small businesses. These changes have encouraged banks to lend to small businesses that might not have qualified for loans. Nationally, SBA has approved more than 58,835 loans totaling nearly $25 billion.

Last month the Senate passed legislation that would continue the Recovery Act SBA loan program enhancements through the end of the year.


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