President Obama unveiled a $15 billion plan to get government-backed loans into the hands of small business owners.

The government will buy the small business loans now clogging the books of small banks and other lenders, allowing the institutions to start lending again.

The government also will increase its guarantee of the Small Business Administration’s primary loan program, reducing the risk to lenders if borrowers default.

The money will come the $700 billion stimulus package the president recently sighed.

“Small businesses are the heart of the American economy,“ Obama said Monday in announcing the measures. “They’re responsible for half of all private sector jobs, and they created roughly 70 percent of all new jobs in the past decade. … But today, too many entrepreneurs can’t access the capital to start, operate or grow their business.”

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