Unpacking the Stimulus Package, Vol. 7
Treasury Department officials are considering a plan to help small businesses by diverting some of the billions of dollars approved for bank bailouts to small businesses, but stress that “any consideration of this idea is extremely preliminary.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner showed support for the proposal at a White House meeting last week between the Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration, and the President’s National Economic Council, but did not specifically endorse the approach. Under the proposed plan, part of the $700 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) funding would be shifted to millions of smaller firms via the expansion of existing Small Business Administration loan programs. The debate comes amidst rising concerns about job losses and allegations that the stimulus package has not done enough for small businesses, which employ 60-80% of the nation’s workers.