WASHINGTON – The United States Senate today passed legislation to temporarily extend Small Business Administration (SBA) programs through April 30, 2010. S. 1929 provides for a clean extension of all SBA programs. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement on the passage of the extension:

“A six-month extension of the SBA and its programs – including the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs – ensures that the agency has the stability it needs to provide our innovators and job creators the assistance they need to remain successful. While we continue to make progress on all of our reauthorization measures – SBIR/STTR, SBA’s loans and venture capital programs, contracting assistance, and management counseling – this temporary reauthorization will help keep America’s 29 million small businesses running through the holiday season. ”

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.