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Inside Washington (11/09/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (11/10/11)--Within about the next 10 days Congress must decide if it will increase the maximum size of mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. The outcome of its decision is likely to play a key role in the future of the housing finance system (American Banker Nov. 9). Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, one of the groups lobbying for the higher limits, declined to predict whether Congress would raise loan limits. Yun said the limit increase was "dead on arrival" in the Senate earlier this year, but it passed easily. President Barack Obama and House Republicans agreed in September that the conforming loan limit be lowered to $625,000 from a temporary maximum of $729,750. Realtors and other housing groups argue that the lower limit would hurt the housing market …
  • WASHINGTON (11/10/11)--With Veterans Day approaching Friday, the Small Business Administration is highlighting programs intended to help veterans start, grow and expand small businesses. Among them is the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). This year, EBV is expanding to an eighth school, Cornell University. EBV provides training for veterans to start and grow a small business with programs targeted to service-disabled veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their family caregivers, women veterans, and National Guard and Reserve members and their families. SBA also is providing $2.6 million through a cooperative agreement over three years for two new programs supporting veteran entrepreneurs. The first, Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE), focuses on training, networking and mentorship for women veterans. The three-day, off-site training program, online training and network support structures are delivered in several locations nationwide, serving up to 1,400 female veterans during a 36-month period. The second, Operation Endure and Grow, targets National Guard and Reserve Component members, their families and partners. Its goal is to mitigate the small business economic hardship of deployed members and their families. The eight-week online course focuses on the fundamentals of launching and/or growing a small business for those who will sustain the business if the service member is deployed, injured or killed. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/vets and www.sba.gov/reservists


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