The Small Business Administration has heard from over 2,700 farmers, including poultry feeders, and rural small businesses and others mostly opposed to amendments to the SBA's Express Loans regulation that would make any operator getting more than 85 percent of revenue from a single source (rather than a usual 70 percent SBA ceiling) ineligible for those loans. The proposed limit comes as an agency response after an SBA inspector general’s report described loans to poultry feeders as almost exclusively benefiting giant corporations that own the vertically integrated poultry industry. But Mark Scanlan, senior vice president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, says an 85 percent limit “is going to make it harder – virtually impossible – to do poultry . . . and maybe other types of confinement agriculture loans and rural small business loans.” Independent operators who do most or all business with a single county or agribusiness company, he complains, would become ineligible, he said. SBA's public comments on the proposal will end Dec. 18.

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