Nine Organizations Submit Joint Response to Bizarre Illinois Small Business Lending Bill

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Illinois Capitol Building

A bill introduced in the Illinois State Senate to “protect” small businesses from lenders is causing small businesses themselves to scratch their heads. The bill would effectively outlaw nonbank business lending, which would render those declined by a bank, restricted from accessing capital through other means.

“As we all recall what happened in 2007-2008 in the housing market, so many people went under due to these predatory lending practices. So I’m happy we’re being proactive instead of reactive with this issue,” said Illinois State Senator Emil Jones.

That proactive approach is to scorch the earth, which is creating staunch pushback from within the small business community. A letter co-signed by the following nine organizations was submitted last week to Jacqueline Collins, the Senator who introduced the bill:

  • Coalition of Responsible Business Finance
  • Electronic Transactions Association
  • Illinois NFIB
  • Illinois Retail Merchants Association
  • Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
  • Small Business Investors Alliance
  • National Small Business Association
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Dear Chair. Collins:

The undersigned organizations, companies, and coalitions who have business in Illinois and throughout the country are writing to express our concerns with SB 2865, the Small Business Lending Act.

We all share your goal of helping small businesses. However, we believe that the prescriptive underwriting standards, complex regulatory mandates, and expansion of civil and criminal liability will prevent small businesses from getting the capital they need to grow and benefit their communities and the state of Illinois.

We respectfully ask the Committee to study the issue of access to capital for small business in Illinois through a transparent process that involves the direct input from small businesses prior to moving forward with SB 2865.

We are hopeful that a deliberative, inclusive, and public process could produce a report that will assist your Committee and the Illinois legislature. Among the questions a study committee could try and answer are: what methods of transparency and disclosure by alternative lenders and finance companies would make it easier for responsible small business borrowing; should non-profit lenders be exempt from alternative lending and finance requirements; and how does the securitization and sale of alternative loans benefit small business lending?

Of course, there are many additional issues that small business stakeholders will identify through a study committee in an effort to assist your Committee prior to any legislative action on SB 2865. We stand ready to assist you in that effort and we appreciate the consideration of our views.

Conflicting information has come out of the Senate since a hearing was held about it on the morning of April 12th. Fox reports that it is heading to the Senate floor for discussion with the expectation of some modifications, while those that were there say that it has been put on hold until early 2017 since it’s a presidential election year.

Last modified: April 16, 2016

Category: Business Lending

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