Franken talks business during stop in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Hrapsky

Franken talks business during stop in Rochester

ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- We're one week away from Election Day, and Al Franken isn't letting down his push in southeastern Minnesota.

After appearing in Austin just three days ago, he was in the Med City Tuesday morning.

Franken is touring with fellow Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar. On Tuesday, the issue was small businesses and how they can access loans.

Franken, Klobuchar, and five local small business owners sat down at Roscoe's restaurant in Northwest Rochester.

The candidate listened to the stories of new and long-time business owners.

One former pharmacist told Franken that there was no Small Business Association to get loans from when he started, and he had to rely on his father-in-law to get the pharmacy running.

Another bar owner told Franken that getting an SBA loan took too long and came with unwanted fees.

Franken offered his plan to the business owners.

Al Franken says, "What I'm talking about is something that we can do right now.  Loosen-up the credit in the SBA.  Again, these are loans, these are not giveaways and they will be paid back."

Franken's proposed plan would expand the SBA by adding $4 billion to the loan program, and $1 billion to the guarantee programs. He says that money is loaned out so taxpayers would get the money back once the loans are repaid.

He would also simplify the loan process and waive associated fees for now.

Where should the $5 billion come from?  He says it should come from the $700 billion earmarked for the bailout package. 

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