US President Barack Obama plans to refocus the government's $700 billion financial bailout away from big financial institutions and toward small businesses. This would make it easier for community banks to issue credit to small businesses, which have been hard-hit by the financial crisis. The president's plan also asks Congress to increase the upper limits for the existing small business administration loans that fuel the credit of many small and medium enterprises in the US. Obama announced the plan on Wednesday while touring small businesses in Maryland. In his prepared remarks, the president explained, “America will not recover until our small businesses recover”. The plan calls for increases in the maximum size of loans to small businesses and provides more money to small banks at low rates, as long as they increase lending to small businesses. Financial institutions that serve low-income areas would also get assistance at even lower rates to help small businesses in their communities. No precise cost figures were available yet for this programme.
Ireland's population has still not recovered from the Great Famine.