Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Friday, December 11, 2009

2010: Clean Tech poised for a healthier lending environment

Data from the Federal Reserve Board shows that the credit crunch is beginning to ease.  As year-end approaches, the number of banks tightening lending standards over the past year has declined, making it a little easier to be approved for a loan.  At the same time, the drop in small business demand for loans appears to be easing, according to the SBA, and more businesses may be encouraged to seek credit again.

Jump-starting small business has been the focus of forums this week (along with the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen), and the two issues are not unrelated.  Getting the clean tech sector going will mean getting credit flowing and stabilizing the financial system.  The Clean Tech Center spent a few days this week on Wall Street with the largest SBA lenders in NYS, and it is clear that the SBA has become a bigger and more important supplier of credit in the small business market, particularly with new programs this year that reduced loan fees and increased loan guarantees.

What's needed in 2010:  a continuation of funding to extend SBA's 90 percent guarantee and the reduction of fees on SBA 7(a) and 504 loans.  This will be crucial -- especially for the clean tech sector, which are often new businesses that need access to capital and the support of public tools like loan guarantee programs.