Section 14C. There shall be established four regional small business loan review boards in the commonwealth. There shall be a Boston metropolitan area small business loan review board which shall include the counties of Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex and Norfolk; a southeastern small business loan review board which shall include the counties of Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes County and Nantucket; a central Massachusetts small business loan review board which shall include Worcester county; and a western Massachusetts small business loan review board which shall include the counties of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire. Each such board shall consist of five members appointed by the commissioner, three of whom shall be representatives of small business and two of whom shall be representatives of banks or bank holding companies; provided, however, that at least three of the members of each such board shall either live or work within the respective region.
Upon the expiration of the term of any member of a regional board, a successor shall be appointed, in like manner, for a term of three years. In the event of a vacancy, the commissioner may, in like manner, appoint a member who shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. Members of each such board shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties. Each regional board shall suggest for consideration by the commissioner one or more names for each such expiring term or vacancy. No member shall be appointed for more than two consecutive three-year terms.
The small business loan review boards shall meet on a regular basis or, as demand for their services requires, to review small business loan denials that applicants believe were unreasonably denied. The small business loan review board shall review a small business loan denial submitted by an applicant and report the results of its findings to the applicant within 30 days of submission of request for review; provided however, that the board may, at its discretion, extend the review period to within 60 days of a request for review. Upon making a determination for reason of denial, the small business loan review boards shall be required to provide information on their findings to the applicant and commissioner of banks and shall provide information to the applicant on alternative sources of financing, including information on any small business financing programs or other relevant programs offered by the commonwealth. The commissioner shall file annual reports regarding the activities of the small business loan review boards with the chairs of the joint committee on community development and small business, chairs of the joint committee on economic development and emerging technologies, and chairs of the joint committee on revenue, not later than January 1 of each year.
In addition, the small business loan review boards shall conduct annual studies and issue annual reports on the availability of credit to small businesses within their regions and report back to the commissioner of banks on their findings. The reports shall be published and made available to the public through the website of the office of consumer affairs and business regulation or the small business website established under section 3 of chapter 23A.
Notwithstanding this chapter, the commissioner may promulgate rules and regulations governing the establishment, operation and procedures of said small business loan review boards. In addition, the commissioner shall be required to market and promote the small business loan review boards as a resource for small businesses located in the commonwealth.