Small Business Lending Stripped out of Stimulus Bill

In a Member Alert midday Friday, ASTA reports that Congressional negotiators have removed a program from the economic stimulus package that would have allowed travel agencies and other small businesses to receive loans directly from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The massive $789 billion bill – approved by Democrat majorities in the House and Senate - is now being debated in both houses. A vote on the final House/Senate compromise version is expected today. Final approval is certain to spark even more controversy including what surviving provisions of the legislation, if any, will benefit the travel industry and small business owning travel agents. A key issue is if the final bill will create jobs and stimulate the economy or if it is a massive spending bill larded with pork for special interest groups.