WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) praised Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) for introducing a bill that would expand the ceiling on certain loans issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), a move that will assist small suppliers with greater access to capital. The current 7(a) program provides loans up to $2 million. The bill introduced by Sen. Brown would increase that ceiling to $5 million.

“SBA loans have been a cornerstone in supporting small business for decades,” says Bob McKenna, president and chief executive officer, MEMA. “Because suppliers are taking on an increasing role in product design and development, the $2 million ceiling limited the loan program’s utility to our industry. This increase will help our small suppliers – aftermarket, original equipment, passenger car and heavy duty – by opening up a larger loan limit, allowing more companies to be able to participate in the program.”

MEMA and its affiliate organizations, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association, and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, urged an increase in the loan program limit at hearings before the House Small Business Committee and the Senate Economic Policy Subcommittee of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

“We are very grateful for Sen. Brown’s leadership and his commitment to improving the economic climate for all small businesses, including suppliers,” McKenna continues. “MEMA is eager to work with lawmakers to ensure the legislation becomes law.”

MEMA represents motor vehicle parts suppliers, the nation’s largest manufacturing sector, employing nearly 686,000 people across the country. Suppliers are also the largest manufacturing employer in eight states. These jobs contribute to 3.29 million private sector jobs across the country. Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in domestic production of new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 247 million vehicles on the road today.

MEMA supports its members through its three affiliate associations, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MEMA represents more than 650 member companies with global motor vehicle parts sales exceeding $600 billion and 65 percent of North American automotive supplier sales. For more information on the motor vehicle parts supplier industry, visitwww.mema.org.