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Senator Explains Key Small Business Vote

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Published on Jul 19, 2011

Christopher G. Hurn, CEO/Cofounder, Mercantile Capital Corporation interviewed former US Senator George LeMieux, the key voter in the Small Business Lending Bill last year.

Chris Hurn: Let's be clear. You served 16 months. When Senator Mel Martinez resigned, Governor Charlie Crist is who appointed you in there. And one of the things that you did, which has actually worked out for us terrifically, is you were one of the biggest supporters of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act which was passed in late September. A lot of people know that for the $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund. There's some tax cuts in there. Our biggest thing in there was that we were finally able to use a 504 loan from the SBA actually to do refinances. And I know that Senator Rubio is on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for the Senate, which is terrific. I think that Florida needs that representation. But we thank you for having supporting that. Because I think that was a piece of legislation that I think got caught up in sort of the partisan gridlock, of course it got passed right before the election. But you crossed over the aisle which I thought showed great courage to do that and to support that.

Senator George LeMieux: Well, it was the right thing to do for Florida. It was a bill that was drafted by Republicans, but unfortunately it got caught up in the election and folks thought, well we can't let the President have a victory. I'm not there to vote on legislation based upon who it gives a victory to, except for if it gives a victory to business people and people in Florida. And this bill did. It provided a $12 and a half billion tax cut for small businesses and it provided crucial lending for small businesses, not through Goldman Sach's but through the banker down the street. I just talked to a banker the other day he's got a small community bank and he told me they just got their $3 million, which they are going to leverage into $30 million into loans to local businesses. Chris, time and time again, I heard from business people in Florida saying "I can't get a loan." I mentioned to you before, I met with some folks right here in Orlando, two brothers who had formed a concern, a cheese company, selling cheese and milk products to companies like Whole Foods and Publix, couldn't get a loan. Went to 10 banks. 10 refusals. Had to sell a majority stake in their company in order to get financing to expand. That's not the American dream. We want to help people get back to work. Small businesses, as you know better than anyone, are the engine that create jobs. In Florida, more than any other place, we are not a big business state. We are a small business state. That's why I was proud to support it.

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