The Senate Small Business Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would require the government to partially guarantee bank loans to small companies with year-2000 computer problems.

By unanimous vote, the committee said the Small Business Administration should guarantee 50% of the principal of loans made to small businesses for the purpose of fixing year-2000 glitches. Loans of $50,000 or less made by qualified lenders would be covered. The program would be discontinued on Oct. 31, 2001.

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