WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair and Appropriations Committee member Mary Landrieu, D-La., today praised the Senate’s passage of the FY2010 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which contains significant increases – that she fought for – for small business resources. The bill increases funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to $824 million – up $211.7 million in non-Recovery Act funding from FY2009.
“With small businesses creating 64 percent of all new jobs in the last 15 years, it is clear they are a key part of our country’s economic recovery,” Chair Landrieu said. “Now that we have saved Wall Street, it is time to jumpstart Main Street. This increase in funding for vital small business programs will give small firms the tools they need to save and create jobs and help our economy return to fiscal prosperity.”
The bill includes $76.5 million to administer the SBA Disaster Loan Program, which has sufficient carry-over funds to allow the Agency to make more than $1 billion in disaster loans in FY2010. Sen. Landrieu championed disaster reforms as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, including one of Sen. Landrieu’s pilot programs for which this bill includes funding – the Expedited Disaster Assistance Program. This bridge loan program provides short-term financing to Pioneer businesses to help them start the recover process as soon as possible after a disaster until longer-term financing is disbursed. The program also expedites loan processing to speed up recovery efforts for businesses vital to recovery such as hardware stores, gas stations, and debris removal services. This pilot program, along with another disaster pilot program, received $1.69 million in funding in this bill.
Additionally, the FY2010 Omnibus provides:
- SBA the authority to back $17.5 billion in 7(a) loans, $7.5 billion in 504 loans, and contains $80 million in appropriations to prevent an increase in 7(a) participant fees—a key component to keeping SBA lenders in the program making loans to businesses, and key to making the capital affordable for businesses. The 7(a) and 504 loan programs are the largest sources of long-term capital for small businesses and helped to create nearly $525,000 jobs this fiscal year, according to the Small Business Administration;
- $3 million in funding (an increase from $2.5 million in FY09) to leverage more than $25 million in microloans. Because of an increased counseling demand from micro-borrowers, the bill also increases the grant to loan ratio to microloan intermediaries and supports $22 million in technical assistance (an increase from last year’s $20 million); and
- SBA the authority to back $3 billion for the Small Business Investment Company Program (SBIC), an initiative that helped powerful job creators like FedEx and Intel when traditional investors turned them away.
Counseling and Contracting Programs
- For the first time since 2004, the bill provides funding for the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, which increases small businesses’ participation in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The bill provides $2 million for FAST;
- $2.5 million for the Veterans’ Programs and the bill encourages the SBA to consider funding certain successful veterans’ business outreach centers. This is an increase from $1.2 million for FY09 and is critical for returning veterans;
- $113 million (up from $110 million) for Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). The funding is necessary to address an increased demand for counseling services;
- $14 million (up from $13.75 million) for Women’s Business Centers and $1 million (up from 775,000) for the Women’s Business Council. In 2008, 7.2 million firms were owned by women. These firms employed 7.3 million workers and created $1.1 trillion in revenue;
- $8 million (up from $5 million) for the Program for the Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME), which provides training and business assistance to low-income entrepreneurs with very small businesses;
- $3.4 million (up from $2.38 million) for the 7(j) technical assistance program, which provides small disadvantaged businesses with training in financing, business development, management, accounting and marketing;
- $7 million (up from $5 million) for SCORE program, which provides one-on-one counseling to small business owners through the use of experienced volunteers;
- $1.25 million for Native American Outreach (up from $1.033 million);
- $2.2 million (up from $2.15 million) for the Historically Underutilized Business Zones program (HUBZones), which creates incentives for contracting with small firms to create jobs in underserved communities; and
- $10 million for the Administrator’s new Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, which will align SBA’s resources and expertise with its counseling partners to target intensive counseling in areas with high concentrations of job loss or areas poised to grow, such as the auto, manufacturing and clean energy industries.