Lending fund would help small business

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: President Obama heads to Nashua, New Hampshire today, pitching a plan to boost small business. And here it is: the president wants to give $30 billion in repaid bank bailout money to community banks. Marketplace's Amy Scott is here live. Hi, Amy.

Amy Scott: Hi.

Radke: So helping small banks help small business, how's that going to work?

Scott: The president wants to set up a Small Business Lending Fund, which would apply to about 8,000 small and community banks. Banks that used the money to increase lending to small businesses would pay lower taxes. And I spoke about this earlier with Lynn Tilton, who runs a private equity fund that invests in small and mid-sized businesses. She is in favor of using bailout money to help these businesses, but says, you know, the kinds of companies that need these loans are risky, and banks are under a lot of pressure to reduce their risk.

Lynn Tilton: Giving money to community banks that are already sitting on problem loans and problem balance sheets and then asking them to go up against regulators to make high-risk loans is not going to accomplish the goal.

Radke: Fair enough, Amy, then what would accomplish that goal?

Scott: Well, Tilton pitched her own plan to the White House, which would encourage private investors to help fund small businesses. But the lending program is just part of the president's plan. He's also pushing tax cuts for companies that create jobs or increase wages, as well as higher limits for loans given through the small business Administration. And the idea here is, you know, if you help small businesses, you help create jobs.

Radke: Marketplace's Amy Scott. Thank you.

Scott: You're welcome.

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