Ryan Introduces Bill to Spur Manufacturing Investment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has introduced legislation that would aid small manufacturers through improved access to affordable loans, incentives for expansions and expanded assistance programs.

The bill, Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America – or Sigma – Act, would also eliminate a mandated fee for Small Business Administration’s 504 loans to manufacturers and requires the agency to guide such companies through the application process.

“As the co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, I understand the importance and urgency of investing in our manufacturing industry to prepare for the future. I’ve seen firsthand how outdated equipment can prevent a manufacturer from competing globally,” Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said in a statement. “This bill will help pave the way for small manufacturers to succeed and ensure our manufacturing industry and economy continues to be the best in the world.”

The Sigma Act also increases the maximum 7(a) loan guarantee rate to 90% and the loan limit on 504 loans to $10 million for manufacturers and reduces guarantee fees from 7(a) loans over $350,000 to 50% and eliminates them from those under $350,000. 

To support startups, it eliminates the 15% of project financing businesses in operation less than two years have to pay when applying for 504 loans. It also provides additional leverage for small business investment companies investing in low- and moderate-income areas, areas of high unemployment, businesses that are veteran-, woman- or minority-owned or are vital to national security.

“Small manufacturers are the backbone of the U.S. manufacturing industry and account for nearly half of all manufacturing jobs in the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-23 N.Y. “Unfortunately, these manufacturers oftentimes struggle to gain access to capital needed to give them a fair chance grow, expand and create new jobs. This is why the SIGMA act is a no brainer in order to continue to accelerate the growth of our economy.”

A companion bill was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Conn., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Tim Scott, R-S.C. and Cory Gardner, R-Colo. 

The Sigma Act is endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, American Society for Mechanical Engineers, Small Business Investor Alliance, National Association of Development Companies and Small Business Majority, among others.

“Small manufacturers account for nearly half of all manufacturing jobs in the United States, but they are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to capital,” said Small Business Majority founder and CEO John Arensmeyer. “This legislation would support small manufacturers by directing the SBA to utilize its existing resources to help small manufacturers access its financing assistance programs.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.