(Washington, DC) – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s 2018 budget proposal that cuts nearly $58 million from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) overall budget, as well as other federal programs that support small businesses in rural communities:

“Small businesses are the economic engine of our country, creating 2 of 3 new jobs, representing 99 percent of all employers, and employing almost half of America’s private workforce. 

“The SBA and its programs enjoy broad bipartisan support and have a proven track record of helping small businesses start, grow and create jobs.  SBA’s largest loan programs, in particular, operate at no cost to the taxpayer and provided an economic lifeline to small businesses during the Great Recession.

“While I am pleased to see support for SBA’s core lending programs, I am concerned by the Administration’s proposed cuts to SBA counseling programs, export assistance, and grants to innovative small businesses.  These cuts make very little short or long-term economic sense. 

“I am also concerned by cuts outside of SBA, including the proposed elimination of economic development programs that serve as key partners to rural small businesses, such as the Community Development Block Grant program and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

“We ought to be investing in programs that lift our small businesses and address the unique credit, operational and regulatory hurdles they face.  Small business owners expect a government that levels the playing field with large companies and sets conditions that make starting a small business not only easier, but possible.  Unfortunately, this budget misses that mark.”