WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that small businesses are still struggling to get loans more than two years after the recession ended. He said that banks could help them by easing overly tight lending standards.
"It's no secret that the past few years have been very difficult for many small firms," Bernanke said in remarks at a Fed conference.
The Fed has been holding training sessions to ensure that banks are meeting the needs of credit worthy business borrowers while maintaining appropriate lending standards, Bernanke said. Many small businesses have complained that their banks have made it too hard to get loans.
"Small businesses have played an important role in fueling past economic recoveries," Bernanke said. "We need to think carefully about how ... our nation can best provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the support they need to expand job opportunities."His remarks came at the start of a two-day Federal Reserve conference exploring ways to help small businesses.