On the heels of completing final approvals of loans to nearly 2,000 firms that has been in its loan queue waiting for final approval of the Small Business Jobs Act, the US Small Business Administration has finished implementation of another major element of the bill: increasing maximum sizes in several of its loan programs.The changes – effective today – are permanent for general small business loans under SBA’s 7(a) guaranteed loan program, fixed asset loans through the 504 Certified Development Company program, Microloans, and International Trade, Export Working Capital and Export Express loans. A temporary increase for SBA Express loans is good for one year. “Across the country, there are small businesses owners who are in a position to take that next step to grow and create jobs, and these larger loan sizes provide another tool to help them do just that,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “Whether they’re in the start-up phase and could use a microloan or are looking to take advantage of lower real estate prices and interest rates to buy a new building to expand, SBA loans can now be an even greater resource to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get the capital they need.“Additionally, temporarily increasing the cap on SBA Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million will allow more small businesses to take advantage of the streamlined approval process for working lines of credit and other capital they need,” Mills said.Under the Jobs Act provisions, SBA has permanently increased 7(a) and 504 limits from $2 million to $5 million, and for manufacturers and certain energy-related projects seeking 504 loans, to $5.5 million. The maximum for International Trade and Export Working Capital loans also has been increased from $2 million to $5 million. SBA also permanently increased microloan limits from $35,000 to $50,000, helping larger entrepreneurs with start-up costs and small business owners in underserved communities. It also raised the limit on Export Express loans, from $250,000 to $500,000, and made the program permanent.SBA Express loan limits have been temporarily raised from $350,000 to $1 million for one year. These loans offer a streamlined application process with reduced paperwork and approval often in a matter of days. Unlike traditional 7(a) loans, SBA Express loans carry a 50 percent guarantee and can be used as revolving lines of credit – to help restock inventories and support larger revenue sales – which are particularly critical for small businesses as they emerge out of the recession.SBA’s own trends show increasing demand for larger loans. The percentage of lending volume for guaranteed loans greater than $1.5 million has grown, from 13 percent of total dollars approved in fiscal year 2005 to 21 percent in fiscal year 2010, with many loans actually at the $2 million maximum. In the 504 program, the percentage of loan volume committed to loans greater than $1.5 million also has grown, from 15 percent of total dollars approved in fiscal year 2005 to 25 percent in fiscal year 2010.SBA has already put in place the alternate size standard that expands eligibility for SBA-backed loans that was included in the Jobs Act, increasing the alternate size standard to include those small businesses with less than $15 million in net worth and $5 million in average net income.Additionally, Administrator Mills announced on Tuesday that all loan applications placed in the SBA’s loan queue by small business borrowers had received final approval, amounting to 1,939 loans for nearly $970 million. The loans were able to make use of loan guarantees up to 90 percent and reduced fees extended under the Jobs Act. Many of the loans had been in the queue waiting for the extension since May.The bill provided the agency with enough funding to support an estimated $14 billion in lending to small businesses with the extension of higher guarantees and reduced fees in the top two loan programs, first implemented as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.The Jobs Act also includes additional resources to help increase lending to small businesses, including the State Small Business Credit Initiative announced today by the Department of Treasury that will support $15 billion in lending through local programs and the Small Business Lending Fund, which will provide capital to local, community banks to increase their lending to small businesses.Additionally, the new law contains $12 billion in tax credits targeted to small businesses, including higher deductions for investing in new machines and equipment, zero capital gains for those who buy and hold small business stocks for five years, and a doubling of the maximum deduction for startups to $10,000. It also allows self-employed Americans to completely deduct health insurance costs for themselves and their families. Source: SBA. 10.8.2010
LONDON, England (CMC) – The track and field world is set to bid farewell to the greatest sprinter of all-time in Usain Bolt when the IAAF World Championships gets going here this weekend.Jamaican Bolt, a legend of the sport, will race for the final time at the August 4-13 showpiece before calling time on a decorated career that has brought him multiple World and Olympic titles over the last decade.An 11-time World champion, Bolt, despite winning the men’s 200m at the last four World Championships, will only settle for the 100m this time around.And despite having only three 100m races this season and a season-best of 9.95 seconds, the irrepressible athlete told journalists he was ready and that the headline after tomorrow’s 100m final would read “unbeatable, unstoppable Bolt”.“I am not worried. It’s a championships, it’s a final, so it’s all about who can keep their nerves,” said the three-time Olympic sprint double champion.“If I show up for a championships, if I am here, you know I am fully confident and ready to go.“The last race I ran 9.95 and it showed I am going in the right direction, so after these two rounds leading up to the final, which always help me then for me I am going forward.”Jamaican Elaine Thompson and Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo are two other Caribbean headliners for the meet.The 24-year-old Thompson, the reigning Olympic sprint double champion, will also run only the women’s 100m, which gets going tomorrow.Miller-Uibo, the Olympic Games 400m champion, takes on the 200/400m double but according to her, special focus will be on the one-lap event.“I think I am pretty ready. Everything is going well,” Miller-Uibo said yesterday.“The main thing is the 400m so once I get done with the 400m, the 200m is just there for play. I just want to go out there and have fun with it.”Meanwhile, seven other Caribbean athletes will be in action on today’s opening day.Antigua and Barbuda’s Chavaughn Walsh will be in the preliminaries of the men’s 100m, along with Barbadians Mario Burke and Ramon Gittens, and Bahamian Warren Fraser.They are challenging for a place in the heats, the stage at which Bolt enters later in the evening.In the men’s discus, Jamaicans Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle are down to contest the opening round. The 23-year-old is the world number two with a throw of 68.88 metres.Damar Forbes and Ramone Bailey, both Jamaicans, will be the English-speaking Caribbean’s representatives in the men’s long jump.The opening day’s activities will end with the men’s 10 000m final.
MEDIUM-fast bowler, Carlton Jacques, delivered his second hat- trick in his career, yesterday, to spur the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) to an innings and 90-run victory over the University of Guyana in the GISE, Star Party Rental and Trophy Stall first-division two-day cricket competition.National cricketer, Christopher Barnwell, had starred with both ball and bat (6-16 and 134 runs) on Saturday (day one), which propelled the home team to 301 after they had bowled out UG for 94. On Sunday—it was the fast bowler’s turn.Jacques extracted bounce from the wicket, which resulted in all three of his victims (Yogendra Singh (3), B. Bandoo (0) and Ershaad Ali (0)) edging behind.Although DCC proved to be the better side, UG, starting the day trailing by an innings and 207 runs, never tried to bat themselves in. Instead, many of their batsmen were guilty of flamboyant strokeplays, which made it easy for Barnwell to use his bowlers to pick them off.Almost half of the 117 runs reached or went over the boundary. Damion Vantull (14) was particularly aggressive with two big sixes, one of which reached onto the steps of the Queenstown Secondary School.Skipper Dwayne Dodson, who was run out, scored four fours in his 19. Also finishing with 19 was Keon Roberts. The opener scored three fours, while Pavindralall Persaud, who had scored 39 in the first innings, added 18 runs (2x4s).Jacques, who bowled four overs (two of which were maidens) finished with 3-4, while K. George and Orlando Giddings finished with two wickets each. The opening bowler, George, got the opening pair, while Giddings made inroads against the lower order.In total the second innings took just 29.4 overs.
The Chevron Junior Tennis Championship will serve-off on Wednesday, October 23 at the prestigious Lagos Lawn Tennis Club at the heels of the two weeks long Lagos Open tournament. The tournament will feature 64 players competing in two age groups – boys and girls 12s and 16sThe Chevron Junior Championship will be a fitting climax to a project which took tennis to over 1500 boys and girls in seven target communities and had the best of them prepared for competitions.The project is already producing eye-catching results as players from the program are already punching above their weight and breaking into the senior and professional ranks.Seun Akinwumi, 12, paired his teammate Daniel Adeleye ,15, to win the doubles event at the National Youth Games in Ilorin for Ekiti State. The girls singles title was won by Destiny Okhinaye, 14, for Lagos State. The 16 year-olds were excluded from the competition.At the senior level, eight of the juniors got into the main draw of the CBN Senior Open Championship with two of the girls reaching the quarterfinals and getting invitations to the All Africa Games camp. Two of the junior girls, Serena Teluwo and Omolade Aderemi played in the main draw of the Lagos Open – a professional tournament.This week’s competition is expected to produce a lot of fireworks with defending champion in the Girls’ 16, Rebecca Ekpeyong, going against in-form players like Teluwo and Okhinaye. Omolayo Bamidele and Aderemi, finalist and semifinalist of the last edition have been promoted into the senior category.The boy’s 16 category will also be missing the rivalry between David Dawariye of the South South and Suleiman Mohammed of Abuja who have been promoted to the seniors. However, 14 year-old David Ekpeyong and Adeleye will be favourites to win the boys 16 event.The boys and girls 12s is expected to throw up the regular rivalries. Favour Amaechi from the South South, Mary Azi from the North Central and Nene Yakubu from the South West in the girl’s event while Ogunsakin South West, Lucky Danjuma and Yakubu Yahonna of the North Central and Precious Ikeuba of South South stand out as the top contenders.According to the International Tennis Academy, organisers of the championship, entry into the venue is free and matches will start at 10 am each day and end at 4.30pm.The grand finale is scheduled for Sunday, October 27 starting 12 noon.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
On Wednesday, ESPN fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling after he shared a meme on Facebook supporting a controversial North Carolina law that forces transgender people to use the bathrooms corresponding to their birth genders. On Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver publicly stated he would take the 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte if the same law wasn’t changed.There are people who say sports don’t matter because they are, on the surface, silly games played with balls and sticks and baskets. Those who don’t follow sports have no clue who Curt Schilling is, much less care about what he has to say.But the truth is that sports are bigger than just games — they consist of multi-billion dollar leagues and millionaire athletes and coaches. And like any other multi-billion industry, these leagues have a sizeable footprint in society, and their star players have a voice much larger than that of the average Joe.It’s why ESPN fired Schilling and why North Carolina should take Silver’s threat very seriously. For better or for worse, this is the impact that sports can have on society.Schilling, an all-time great pitcher-turned-analyst, was just daring ESPN to fire him. Last year, the network suspended him for a month after sharing a Twitter post that compared Muslims to Nazis. In March, he went on a radio show and said that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere.”While Schilling crossed the line numerous times, ESPN is firing him on the grounds of his opinions — which he is certainly entitled to — rather than him not fulfilling his actual duty as a baseball analyst. An average Joe working as a truck driver would probably not be fired for doing what Schilling did, but as a public figure and television personality, it was too big of an embarrassment for ESPN.To be clear: The North Carolina law is awful and a clear attempt to discriminate against transgender people. But Schilling has a right to engage in the debate without losing his job.Additionally, I think such a law should be changed for a different reason than the NBA threatening to pull the All-Star Game. The NBA is absolutely doing the right thing by taking a stance on a controversial issue. But in turn, if North Carolina changes the law, it will be because its politicians don’t want to lose out on the millions of dollars that holding an All-Star Game would bring into the state, not because they genuinely believe the law is wrong.It’s happened before. Just last month, Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-gay rights bill after the NFL warned that the passing of the law could cost Atlanta a Super Bowl in the future. Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill two years ago based on a similar threat — the NFL threatening to pull the Super Bowl in 2015 from Phoenix. Last year, while the Final Four was being held in Indianapolis, Indiana immediately issued amendments to another religious liberty bill after NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke out against it. In the 1990s, the NFL also almost single-handedly forced Arizona to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by actually rescinding a Super Bowl from the state. Not until the voters approved the holiday did the league bring the game back to Arizona in 1996.Losing out on All-Star Games, Super Bowls or Final Fours should not be the main catalysts for social change. Sure, the results should be applauded, but the reasons behind them are based more on money than morality — and I’m afraid what’s happening in North Carolina is heading toward the same path.Ultimately, all of this shows that the power of sports stretches well off the playing field and into politics, and that creates ambiguity. Schilling has shown no indication that he is anything but a bigoted moron, but should his political opinions be held against him by his now ex-employer? The North Carolina law should be repealed, but does it sit right that it might only happen because a basketball game won’t be played there?I guess we’ll have to take what we can get. Obviously, it would be ideal if governors stopped signing discriminatory laws and former athletes refrained from supporting them, but until that day comes, we are — at least partially — reliant on sports figures such as ESPN and NBA commissioners to police society, for better or for worse.Eric He is a freshman majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Fridays.