WASHINGTON – Today Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the President's proposed budget cuts critical small business programs and falls short of repairing the deep cuts to the agency over the last seven years. Excluding disaster loan funding, the proposed budget for next year represents a 28 percent cut for the Small Business Administration (SBA) since President Bush took over in 2001 – the largest cut of all the federal agencies – and a three percent cut from 2008 appropriations. The President's request of $657 million, including disaster loan program funds, for the SBA is only .02 percent of the entire $3.1 trillion budget.
“Unfortunately, this budget is more of the same from the Bush Administration for America’s 27 million small businesses. The Bush budget fails to provide the critical investment to finance start ups and grow existing businesses. Last year, nearly 900,000 jobs were created or retained due to government-backed loans and venture capital deals to small businesses. But we’re already seeing these loans on the decline this year as a result of the mortgage crisis so we need to do everything we can to boost these programs. This is not the time to be making cuts,” said Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
“The significant proposed cuts to business counseling programs will have a detrimental impact on our ability to help small businesses succeed. I will work with my colleagues in a bipartisan way to reverse the severe Bush Administration cuts as the Democratic-led Congress did last year when we restored $40 million to core small business programs,” Kerry said.
Once again, the Bush Administration proposes no funding for small business loan programs and deeply cuts counseling and outreach programs like Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, and technical assistance programs.
Specifically, the proposed 2009 budget: