ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Big things are coming out of a federal microloan program for women and minority-owned businesses. 

“It helps us bridge the gap, so really, without these loans, I don’t think we would be here,” said Instant Monogramming Owner Rebecca Hetherington. 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Monday at the Instant Monogramming Headquarters that she is introducing legislation that would strengthen the Microloan Modernization Act.

The bill is said to raise the total limit on outstanding loans.

The senator was joined by Mayor Lovely Warren and Pathstone. 

“It`s about, again, empowering women. We want more women and minority-owned businesses to get access to capital so their good ideas can be funded like everyone else. I think this is a great bill and a great place to talk about it,” Gillibrand (D) said.

Instant Monogramming has been in business since 1983 and is a recipient of the SBA Microloan. Their new $56,000 sewing machine was purchased with the help of the loan.

“Being able to update is extremely important, but it`s also extremely expensive and the odds that you have that cash flow to walk to the table in order to upgrade your technology and keep growing is a very difficult thing,” said Hetherington. 

The SBA Microloan program provided $722 million nationwide. $8.4 million of those dollars were given to entrepreneurs in New York State.