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NMMA's Dammrich Participates In Senate Small Business Roundtable

Roundtable Focuses on Expanding Small Business Lending

WASHINGTON, D. C. – June 8, 2010 –National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thom Dammrich participated this morning in a roundtable forum hosted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the “State of Small Business Lending: Identifying Solutions and Exploring Obstacles.”

NMMA was invited to appear before the Committee on behalf of the recreational marine industry as a result of the ongoing negative impacts the credit crisis is having on small companies throughout the U.S. The Senate Small Business Committee, chaired by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-Me.), called the roundtable to explore why small business lending has not improved and to identify solutions to the ongoing credit crisis.

Congress is soon expected to take up a “Jobs 3” bill focused on small business lending and other initiatives to improve the small business environment. NMMA has been encouraging Congress to act quickly on new legislation that focuses specifically on restoring credit availability for small companies, particularly regarding floorplan financing. NMMA has also taken the lead in an effort to enhance the Small Business Administration’s dealer floorplan program to attract more participation from banks.

Dammrich’s formal statement focused on the need to enhance and extend the Small Business Administration’s Dealer Floorplan Pilot Program. He also discussed the need to responsibly modify the procedures bank examiners are imposing on banks, including overly restrictive lending practices by bank regulators. Dammrich noted that senior loan officers and bank regulators claim that demand for lending from small businesses has declined. He acknowledged that demand for lending from small businesses, even in the marine industry, has declined, but that there is still significant unmet demand for credit from small businesses, particularly small marine businesses.

Dammrich also expressed support of the Obama Administration’s proposed Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), which make low-cost capital available to community banks to lend to small businesses, but encouraged this proposed new Fund specifically incentivize floorplan financing. Click here to read Dammrich’s written remarks.

“NMMA applauds Senators Landrieu and Snowe for their ongoing efforts to identify solutions to the credit crisis for America’s small businesses, which are vital to our nation’s economy ,keeping Americans employed, and creating new jobs,” said Dammrich. “I appreciate the opportunity to speak on behalf of the recreational marine industry to help find solutions to this very difficult problem . The recreational marine industry will continue to call on Congress to act quickly on legislation to enhance small business lending.”

The roundtable was attended by representatives from the Federal Reserve Board, Small Business Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, FDIC, regional and community banks and a small business.

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