American Dream Not Urban Sprawl Small Business And Minority Business Owners Say

The National Black Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Survival Committee today filed a request to intervene in a lawsuit brought by two environmental groups against the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who claim the agency’s lending program is "sprawl inducing." The National Black Chamber of Commerce has over 65,000 members nationwide, many of whom rely on SBA loans to provide capital for their small businesses. The Small Business Survival Committee has over 50,000 members nationwide, and advocates a strong small business sector for the nation's economy.

The lawsuit, filed October 12, 2000 in Washington, D.C. federal district court, by The Forest Conservation Council and Friends of the Earth, seeks to halt all SBA small business lending until an environmental impact study is prepared detailing SBA's alleged contribution to "urban sprawl" in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The two groups that brought the suit have stated their intention to file similar actions in metropolitan areas across the country.

"This lawsuit is about freedom of choice based on the protection of private property rights," said Nancie G. Marzulla, President of Defenders of Property Rights, and attorney for the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Survival Committee in this suit. "It is outrageous to call a small business and the communities they serve ‘urban sprawl’," stated Nancie Marzulla, "This lawsuit seeks to force people to live in downtown high rises and crammed into urban housing instead of a home with a backyard in a local community in the suburbs which especially hurts those families in our society who are trying to create a better life for themselves."



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