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Julie Eades

Earmark would help small businesses save and create jobs

By Julie Eades

We've been creating new loan products that could supply much-needed financing to small businesses so they can create and save N.H. jobs.

An editorial this week in the Nashua Telegraph dropped us in the middle of the current political storm over earmarks, mentioning that Senators Judd Gregg and Jeanne Shaheen had requested $500,000 for the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund in the federal spending bill.

As uncomfortable as it feels to be mentioned in a piece headlined "earmark hypocrisy," I have no problem talking about the request and what this funding could accomplish in New Hampshire.

It's no secret that the economic collapse has shriveled many sources of business credit here and across the country. What is different in New Hampshire is that we are a state of small businesses. More than half of our private-sector workers are employed by small businesses, and those businesses have been particularly squeezed by the lack of credit.

The loans we make fill capital gaps in the economy, like the one small businesses are experiencing, in ways that serve low- and moderate-income people. For the past year, we've been working to create new loan products that could supply much-needed financing to some of these small businesses so they can save (and hopefully even create) New Hampshire jobs. We asked our Congressional delegation to help us get that loan program up and running.

We thank Senators Gregg and Shaheen for recognizing the importance and immediacy of the need for capital for NH's small businesses, for responding with a special appropriation, and for having confidence in the Community Loan Fund to customize loan products to help fill that need.

Juliana Eades is President of the Community Loan Fund.