WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today held a hearing on the Obama Administration’s budget blueprint for the Small Business Administration (SBA). The hearing was entitled “The FY2011 Budget Request for the Small Business Administration.” SBA Administrator Karen Mills testified before the Small Business Committee to give an overview of the budget request and the priorities for the Agency. The Obama Administration’s budget request called for budget authority of $994, an increase in funding to the Agency by $170 million from last year’s enacted level.

“More than half of America’s workforce goes to work for a small business each day,” Senator Landrieu said. “They pump almost a trillion dollars into the economy, create 13 times more patents per employee than large firms, and have traditionally created two-thirds of our nation’s new jobs. President Obama has made small business a top priority not just with his words, but with his actions. For the second year, the President has submitted a budget that increases needed funding to rebuild the SBA and meet the demands on its small business programs, from loans and counseling to contracting assistance. Over the last several years, the SBA suffered an average of 27 percent in cuts to its budget. This budget seeks to rebuild the SBA, transforming the Agency into what it was nearly a decade ago and boosting its ability to work on behalf of small businesses across the country.”

The President’s budget request calls for:

• $164.5 million to support $17.5 billion in 7(a) loans to prevent fee increases;

• An increase the number of active SBA lending partners for the 7(a) loan program to 3,000 by September 30, 2011;

• $203 million to administer the SBA’s disaster loan program;

• Prioritizing the support and oversight of the SBIR program;

• Implementation of the Women’s Contracting Rule; and

• A goal to process 85 percent of the disaster loans within 14 to 18 days.

“This is a good, strong budget, but after meeting with small business owners and SBA’s lending and counseling partners and small business advocates, I recommended an additional $100 million for the SBA in the views and estimates letter I submitted to the Budget Committee, elevating the SBA’s budget to $1.094 billion,” said Sen. Landrieu. “This will maximize the number of jobs we can save and create, and jumpstart the small business growth we need to put this economy back on track, and I congratulate Senator Cardin for succeeding in increasing the SBA request by $75 million, up to almost $1.1 billion.”

To view the entire video from the hearing, please click here.