WASHINGTON – The United States Senate today passed legislation to temporarily extend programs that fall under the Small Business Administration (SBA). The amended bill, H.R. 3614, provides for a clean extension of all SBA programs through October 31, 2009. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement on the passing of the extension:

“While the goal remains to send to the President comprehensive reauthorization legislation for all of the SBA’s programs, including for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that the Senate passed in July, this temporary extension ensures that in the short-term these programs will continue to create jobs and provide resources to entrepreneurs across the country. With the need to reauthorize SBA’s contracting programs, counseling programs, capital programs, and the SBIR and STTR programs, I would have preferred a longer, more realistic extension to provide more stability for small businesses. However, in the interest of swift passage, the Senate agreed to the House’s request for a one-month extension.”

Small firms employ 41 percent of the nation’s high-tech workers and generate 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large firms. The SBIR program alone has generated more than 84,000 patents and millions of jobs. Eleven federal agencies participate in the SBIR program – including the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation – allocating 2.5 percent of their extramural research and development dollars for the program.