The Small Business Administration (SBA) will restart lending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) thanks to $125 million included in the U.S. Department of Defense appropriations bill signed into law on Saturday.

According to the SBA’s news release, the funding will support higher guarantees and lower rates for small business lending through February 28, 2010.

“This Administration and Congress recognize that these key programs were
successful in helping jump-start the economic recovery for America’s small
businesses,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The increased guarantee and reduced fees on SBA loans helped put more than $16.5 billion in the hands of small business owners and brought more than 1,200 lenders back to SBA loan programs. The extension of these programs through February is important to continuing our path toward recovery and will mean thousands more small business owners have access to the credit they need.”

The Oregon Small Business Council praises this additional support of small businesses and will be supporting an expansion of SBA lending as part of broader financial reform in 2010.