Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, leaves after the first day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Credit: Susan Walsh / AP

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Republican senator has joined an effort to expand loan relief for small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Susan Collins said her proposal would bring expanded relief measures to the federal Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program for one year. The 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s primary program for assisting small businesses.

The proposal would make key changes to the program such as waiving borrower and lender fees. It would also increase the maximum loan value from $5 million to $10 million, and increase the government guarantee to 95 percent.

Collins introduced the proposal with fellow Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Jim Risch of Idaho. Collins said the coronavirus pandemic “is tragically forcing many families to close the doors to their small businesses that they have spent years or even generations to build.”