moneyThe U.S. House of Representatives raised the Small Business Association’s lending authorization ceiling Monday to $23.5 billion for its 7(a) loan guaranty program.

“We have seen record levels of lending this year, showing us that America’s small businesses are thriving and yearning to grow,” said U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a news release. “We have streamlined our processes, reduced fees and bolstered our outreach to our lending partners.

“On behalf of the Small Business Administration and the thousands of small and growing businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs we serve across the country,” she added, “thank you to the leadership in both the House and Senate for the steps they have taken this past week.  As we go forward, we will continue to work with both chambers to ensure that the SBA continues to empower American small businesses as they grow and create jobs to strengthen the nation’s economy.”