Changes under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to U.S. Small Business Administration loan programs led to a rebound in SBA-backed loans for small businesses and greater access to much-needed capital.Since the Recovery Act was signed on Feb. 17, SBA has supported more than $11.3 billion in lending to small businesses through its two largest loan programs and seen its average weekly dollar volume increase by more than 60 percent in comparison to the weeks before the Recovery Act. Additionally, the average number of loans approved per week has increased by more than 50 percent. The dollar volume for September 2009 ($1.9 billion) was the highest single-month total since August 2007.“These numbers, along with our conversations with lenders and small business owners around the country, show that the Recovery Act hit the mark,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “The Recovery Act was critical to unlocking the market and as a result we’ve helped put billions of dollars of much needed capital in the hands of small business owners during this tough economic time, and brought more than 1,200 lenders back into SBA’s loan programs. With half the nation’s workforce either working for or owning a small business, these dollars played a critical role in driving economic recovery across the country.”As a result of the credit crunch, SBA lending saw a significant decline in the fall of 2008 and early 2009. For the seven weeks prior to the Recovery Act being signed, SBA’s average weekly dollar volume was $165 million. The average weekly average since the Recovery Act was signed, through Sept. 25, was $275 million. Mills cited Recovery Act provisions that reduced fees on SBA loans and raised SBA guarantees to 90 percent, as well as actions that reinvigorated the secondary markets for SBA-guaranteed loans as especially helpful in improving access to SBA-backed credit.Overall, SBA loan approvals for the fiscal year amounted to a combined 50,829 loans (preliminary number) worth $13.1 billion under the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. The comparable figures for fiscal year 2008, which ended just as the nation’s economy entered the financial crisis, were 78,317 and $17.96 billion. The dollar volume totals for SBA loans in fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, do not include loans made under the agency’s ARC, (America’s Recovery Capital) loan program. Launched on June 15, the agency has approved 2,715 ARC loans worth more than $88 million as of September 29. Thus far, nearly 740 lenders have made ARC loans, and the number of participating lenders is increasing by an average of about 50 per week.For more information about these and other SBA programs, visit the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov(link is external), or contact your local SBA field office. You can find contact information for your local SBA office at http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html(link is external). Source: SBA. # # #
UNDATED (AP) — A day after postponing the Tokyo Olympics, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is invoking comments by President Donald Trump to defend himself from criticism.Bach spoke to about 400 reporters on a conference call and was asked why it took so long to postpone the Tokyo Games amid growing concern among athletes about the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that many governments have imposed social limits only into next month or early May and pointed to Trump’s hope of easing restrictions by mid-April.Bach said “we were in line with these developments” until World Health Organization leaders said Monday that the outbreak was accelerating.The Tokyo Games were scheduled to begin July 24. Several countries last weekend called for the Olympics to be postponed until next year, but the IOC did not decide to push back the games until Tuesday.In other developments news related to the pandemic: Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins says there were no signs of foul play and that the Whitman County coroner will determine the cause of death.Beekman started all 13 games last season for Washington State after transferring from Arizona Western College.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-OBIT-DAVID EDWARDSFormer Texas A&M basketball player David Edwards dead at 48COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Former Texas A&M basketball player David Edwards has died at 48. General manager Jim Rutherford says Guentzel has not encountered any setbacks after undergoing shoulder surgery on Dec. 31. Guentzel was expected to need 4 to 6 months to recover, but Rutherford indicated his high-scoring forward is near the front end of the timetable.Guentzel had 20 goals and 43 points in 39 games this season before the injury.TRANSGENDER ATHLETES-HIGH SCHOOLUS Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girlsHARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports. — The Colts have added another piece to their defense by signing Sheldon Day. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. He’s the second former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle to join the Colts since free agency opened last week, joining All-Pro DeForest Buckner. Day has played in 56 games over four seasons with Jacksonville and San Francisco.NFL-BILLS-OBITEx-Bill Stratton diesUNDATED (AP) — The Buffalo Bills say former star linebacker Mike Stratton has died due to heart complications stemming from a recent fall. He was 78.Stratton was part of a Bills defense that holds the pro football record of not allowing a touchdown rushing in 17 consecutive games, spanning the 1964-65 seasons. Associated Press March 25, 2020 Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest Tuesday, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.The conference allows athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify, arguing it is following a state law that requires high school students be treated according to their gender identity. It also argues the policy is in accordance with Title IX, the federal law that allows girls equal educational opportunities, including in athletics.The lawsuit was filed in February by three female runners who say they have been deprived of wins, state titles and athletic opportunities by being forced to compete against transgender athletes.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Selected by Buffalo in the 1962 draft, Stratton spent his first 11 seasons with the Bills and finished his career with the 1973 Chargers. He was a three-time All-AFL player and earned second-team AFL All-1960s team honors.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-WASHINGTON STATE-BEEKMANPolice: Washington State safety Bryce Beekman found deadPULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State senior defensive back Bryce Beekman has died.Police in Pullman, Washington, say the 22-year-old was found dead in his apartment by an officer who responded to a call for help involving “breathing problems.” — Major League Soccer has extended its moratorium on team training through April 3 and still wants players to stay in their team’s local market. MLS has targeted May 10 as a potential return date. Team training facilities may be used only for physical therapy purposes at the direction of the team’s medical staff.— The All England Club says it is still evaluating whether to postpone or cancel Wimbledon because of the coronavirus pandemic and plans to make a decision next week. That’s when the club’s main board is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting. Main-draw play at Wimbledon is slated to start June 29 and preparations for the tournament are supposed to begin in late April.— Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother is hospitalized and in a medically induced coma after contracting the new coronavirus. Towns said both his parents went to the hospital recently and were tested for the disease. While his father was released and told to quarantine at home, his mother’s condition deteriorated to the point where she was put on a ventilator and placed in a coma.— NASCAR says in a memo to teams that one of its employees at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weeks ago has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee was not identified, and NASCAR said the individual has been receiving medical care and all potentially exposed have been told to self-quarantine. NASCAR was scheduled to race at Atlanta March 15 without spectators. But two days prior to the race, NASCAR postponed Atlanta and last weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.— Experts are pointing to a Feb. 19 soccer game as one of the biggest reasons why the Italian city of Bergamo (BEHR’-gah-moh) has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. On that day a third of the Italian city’s population made the short trip to Milan to watch their team play Spanish club Valencia. Nearly 2,500 fans from Spain also traveled to the match. Two days later, the region’s first case of locally transmitted COVID-19 was reported. More than a third of Valencia’s team eventually became infected following what some are calling “Game Zero.” Former teammate Charles Henderson posted on social media that Edwards died of complications from the new coronavirus. The Associated Press couldn’t independently confirm Henderson’s account.Edwards held the single-season school record for assists for more than 25 years. He averaged 13.5 points for the Aggies and is second to Alex Caruso on A&M’s career lists with 602 steals and 228 steals.NHL-PENGUINS-GUENTZELGuentzel progressing nicelyPITTSBURGH (AP) — It’s possible that Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star forward Jake Guentzel (GEHNT’-sul) could return sometime this season if the NHL is able to resume the campaign. Update on the latest sports COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOPPIN-NBAToppin entering NBA draftUNDATED (AP) — Dayton All-American forward Obi Toppin (OH’-bee TAH’-pihn) is entering the NBA draft after leading the Flyers to a 29-2 record and No. 3 ranking as a redshirt sophomore.Toppin led the way in one of Dayton’s greatest seasons, averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds. He was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press All-America first team and He beat Iowa’s Luke Garza for AP player of the year honors.NFL-PANTHERS — Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is pitching an idea to help big league teams squeeze in more games once the season resumes. Atkins is floating the prospect of playing seven-inning doubleheaders, allowing MLB to add more games in a condensed season without exhausting pitching staffs. Seven-inning twinbills have long been a staple of minor league baseball.— Injured Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge still hasn’t resumed baseball activities. Judge didn’t play in any spring training games because of discomfort in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder that he felt when swinging. The Yankees said March 6 that the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year had a stress fracture to his first right rib, an injury likely dating from a diving catch late last season. Yankees manager Aaron Boone says Judge will be evaluated again in a few weeks.— Major League Baseball will air 30 games across its digital platforms on Thursday, giving fans plenty of hardball to choose from on an opening day postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. With its season delayed until at least mid-May, MLB will air one memorable game for each franchise on its YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSIOC chief invokes Trump in defense of Olympic decision Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSMLB Free agency could happen if season in postponedUNDATED (AP) — Mookie Betts and all the players set to be free agents after the 2020 season would still get that chance if there is no baseball this year. That’s part of a broad deal being negotiated by the commissioner’s office and the players’ association. A person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press the agreement would credit major leaguers with the same service time this year that they earned in 2019 if there’s no season because of the new coronavirus.Major League Baseball and the union would agree to try to play as many regular season games as possible, the person said. They also would agree to explore one-time changes to the postseason, which would create the possibility of expanded playoffs this year.Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, Mets hurler Marcus Stroman, Astros outfielder George Springer and Phillies catcher JT Realmuto (ree=al-MOO’-toh) also would be eligible for free agency, even if the season is canceled.In other baseball news:— Commissioner Rob Manfred says the investigation of the Red Sox’s alleged cheating is complete, telling ESPN a verdict will be announced before the start of the season. Manfred’s office looked into Boston’s potential involvement in sign stealing. The Red Sox parted ways with manager and former Astros bench coach Alex Cora in January over his involvement in sign stealing while with Houston. — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees by 6 p.m. Wednesday. In a memo to the teams, Goodell said the restrictions meant as a safeguard against the new coronavirus will be in force until at least April 8. Then the league will re-evaluate, using advice from medical experts and health authorities. The few exceptions include trainers and doctors treating players, security and technology personnel.— The NHL’s chief medical officer expects the coronavirus pandemic to get worse before it gets better in North America. The officer says it is difficult to predict when cases of COVID-19 might peak or decrease. That uncertainty makes it unclear when players might be able to get back on the ice in small groups, let alone when games might resume. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly believes it’s too early to know whether fans would be allowed in whenever hockey is back.— The NHL has announced that it is postponing the scouting combine, the league awards ceremony and the draft due to the ongoing uncertainly resulting from the coronavirus. All three events were scheduled to be held in June, an impossibility if the league resumes its regular season and holds a full playoff schedule. The NHL added that the draft and draft lottery will be announced when plans are finalized.— The Kontinental Hockey League has given up on trying to reschedule its playoffs and canceled the remainder of the season. The Russia-based KHL is widely considered to be the strongest league outside the NHL. It was due to play its conference semifinals when play was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.— The Boston Bruins say they are putting 68 full-time employees on temporary leave and cutting the pay of 82 others who work for the team or Delaware North, which owns the TD Garden. The Bruins call the moves “temporary business stabilization measures” and go into effect April 1. The Bruins were the last team in the NHL to offer help to gameday employees who lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic — and then only if postponed games aren’t made up. The team is owned by Hockey Hall of Famer Jeremy Jacobs. Forbes Magazine estimates the Jacobs family is worth $3.3 billion. Bridgewater inks dealUNDATED (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have officially signed free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year contract.A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press last week that the contract is worth $63 million.Bridgewater replaces 2011 No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, who was released on Tuesday after nine seasons with the team. Bridgewater enters his seventh NFL season after spending four seasons with the Vikings and two with the Saints.Also around the NFL:
The men’s tennis team is coming off a successful 2015 season in which it spent several weeks as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.USC men have won five of the last seven national titles and are sure to be serious competitors again this season. The 2016 team is anchored by junior Nick Crystal and senior Max de Vroome, both key contributors to last season’s team with records of 29-6 and 28-8, respectively. In addition, Tanner Smith, son of head coach Peter Smith, and Connor Farren are returning to the Trojans, both seeing action last season with the team.Although the 2015 team graduated four of its top six players, it is bringing in the third-ranked recruiting class in the nation. Logan Smith and Jake DeVine are the two members of the class, both ranked in the preseason top 100 and are expected to have an immediate impact.Smith, a five time Pac-12 and two time national coach of the year, returns for his 14th season as head coach. He has led the team to five national titles and under him they have finished ranked top 10 in the final rankings the last nine years in a row.The women’s team had an even more impressive showing, losing only two matches all season on the way to an appearance in the NCAA semifinals and are looking to improve upon that in the upcoming season.They are looking to win their first national title since 1985 and enter the preseason ranked second in the nation, behind only defending national champions Vanderbilt, a team the Trojans defeated last season at Marks Stadium. Head coach Richard Gallien returns to USC for his 21st season, leading the Trojans to 18 straight finishes in the top 20, collecting five Pac-12 coach of the year awards along the way.After only graduating two of their top six players, they are led by senior Giuliana Olmos and sophomores Gabby Smith and Madison Westby. Olmos had a successful offseason in which she competed in several professional ITF Futures tournaments, collecting three titles and an additional appearance in the semifinals.In addition to the returners, they are adding freshmen Rianna Valdes and Jessica Failla, both ranked inside the top 80 nationally in the preseason rankings. Failla is coming off a successful winter season, where she was able to win the USTA under-18 National Winter Championship. This is shaping up to be an exciting season, with three additional Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 10.The Women of Troy begin their season Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. against UC Santa Barbara at Marks Stadium.