In December, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri proposed a $200 million small-business stimulus package that included a commitment by eight banks to lend as much as $165 million to local companies suffering from the effects of the economic slowdown and the credit crunch. (READ MORE)
In putting together the package, the governor also proposed creating a state loan-guarantee program for small business (as a supplement to the guarantees the U.S. Small Business Administration already provides on SBA-backed loans) and funding R.I. Economic Development Corporation (EDC) programs for microloans, gap financing and other small-business loans.
But – although the banks continue to say that they are committed to lending out the money they have set aside – the program will not be implemented until the General Assembly takes action on the parts of the program that involve public money. (READ MORE)
Should the legislature act on this program now?