WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today commented on the Senate Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations approved for the Small Business Administration (SBA). The committee- approved bill will give the SBA $955.3 million for Fiscal Year 2012.

“I think the small business community should feel good about the FY2012 funding approved yesterday in the Appropriations Committee for the SBA,” Senator Landrieu said. “Members on both sides of the aisle were able to come together and find the resources to fully fund the SBA’s two largest small business loan programs. We were able to protect the funding for contracting and counseling, and also to restore necessary operating funds to the SBA’s disaster loan program. I realize everyone would have liked an increase, and I personally wanted more for the SCORE program to leverage that volunteer counseling, but this is a strong level given the environment of cuts, and I think we will be able to give entrepreneurs the necessary tools to start a business, manage an existing one, or even grow and prosper in FY2012 with this funding.”

Highlights of the Financial Services Fiscal Year Appropriations for the SBA are as follows:

- Increases funding for 7(a) and 504 loans from $80 million in 2011 to $211.6 million for 2012, leveraging about $25 billion in loans, without raising fees.

- Protects SBA’s core counseling and contracting assistance programs from cuts by providing matching 2011 levels.

- Fully funds SBA’s Disaster loan program’s administrative funds at $167 million and protects the loan dollars so that SBA has the money and staff necessary to respond quickly when disaster strikes businesses or homeowners.

- Provides $2 million for the SBIR Federal and State Technology Program to help small, high-technology firms better compete for the billions in Federal research and development projects and transition technology that might otherwise die on lab shelves or in an entrepreneurs’ garage.