On June 6, 2012, Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu, backed by the committee's
ranking member Olympia Snowe, published the Expanding Access to
Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act.
Sen. Landrieu introduced the EXCEL Act, a bipartisan effort,
during the 2012 National Small Business Week, stating that the
EXCEL Act "will enhance the already successful Small Business
Investment Company [Program] ... that has helped over 100,000 small
businesses" at no cost to the taxpayer. The EXCEL Act provides
four main amendments to the SBIC Program:
It raises the program's annual authorization level from $3
billion to $4 billion, adjusted annually for inflation, to
accommodate continued growth;
It raises the total Small Business Administration (SBA)
leverage limit on "families of funds" from $225 million
to $350 million, seeking to encourage successful investment
It requires the SBA to publicly disclose through its website
select information with respect to each SBIC Fund. The disclosures
include: (a) the amount of capital deployed, (b) the amount of
leverage drawn, (c) the number of investments, (d) the number of
businesses receiving capital, (e) industry sectors receiving
investment, (f) the amount of leverage principal repaid, and (g) a
basic description of its investment strategy; and
It advises banks and other lenders, together with the
Administrator of the SBA, of ways in which to ensure that the
maximum amount of eligible small businesses may receive the
benefits of the SBIC Program. Banks and other lenders are
encouraged to refer small business concerns to an SBIC Fund if such
banks or other lenders deny that small business's loan
application. Additionally, the Administrator should reach out to
banks and other lenders to encourage investment in SBIC Funds, as
well as partner with governors, mayors, states and municipalities
to increase SBIC Fund investments in underserved and rural
The SBIC Program has invested $60 billion in more than 109,000
small U.S. businesses since its inception in 1958, including $2.14
billion in outstanding commitments as of April 30, 2012. In
addition, SBIC Funds have invested in 1,288 portfolio companies
totaling $1.9 billion in FY 2012 to date (October 1, 2011, through
May 31, 2012) with an average investment of $1,520,575. Sen.
Landrieu believes that these "common sense" provisions
should continue the SBIC Program's successful past while
contributing zero dollars to the federal deficit.
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