Washington, D.C. – At a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing yesterday afternoon regarding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Fiscal Year 2011 budget, Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) expressed her concern that the SBA’s core, job-creating programs are slated for flat-funding under President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget.  At the same time, Senator Snowe pledged to work with SBA Administrator Karen Mills to ensure that her agency has the tools necessary to help America’s nearly 30 million small businesses, including passage of a broad small business jobs package.

“A strong and well-funded SBA represents a prudent investment in America’s economic future,” said Ranking Member Snowe.  “As such, I am very concerned that although the Administration’s proposal would provide a 15 percent increase to the SBA’s budget, none of the additional funds have been directed to the SBA’s core, non-credit programs, including Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the HUBZone program.  At a time when small businesses are struggling to create jobs, it is more crucial than ever that the SBA invest any additional taxpayer dollars in the programs that have proven time and again to create jobs and help entrepreneurs succeed.” 

At the same hearing, Senator Snowe also reiterated her call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring a small business jobs bill to the Senate Floor without delay, as he had promised prior to the Easter recess.  She urged the Leader to include provisions from the Small Business Job Creation Act of 2010 (S. 3103), which Senator Snowe introduced on March 10, 2010, and is based in large part on several bipartisan bills that have already been approved by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Specifically, that legislation includes critical enhancements to the SBA’s lending programs, such as an increase in the loan limits for the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loans from $2 million to $5 million and for the SBA’s microloans from $35,000 to $50,000, as well as an expansion and enhancement of export financing and assistance for small businesses.  The bill also contains a five-year extension of small business expensing; a complete exclusion on capital gains attributable to small business stock held for five years; a Job Impact Statement for every major piece of legislation; and critical funding for the Small Business Development Centers.