House Passes Funding Boost for Small Business Administration
News from the
House Committee on Small Business
Nydia M. Velázquez, Chairwoman
After years of Bush-era budget cuts, lawmakers begin rebuilding agency
Washington, DC - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3170, the "Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act," legislation which contains funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business, said the bill will increase funding for the SBA's core missions of facilitating small business lending and providing counseling and technical assistance to small firms.
"After eight years of neglect and budget cuts, we need a revitalized SBA with the resources to foster small business growth," Velázquez said. "This legislation is a step in the right direction to put the agency back on track and provide entrepreneurs resources they need to create jobs and lead our nation out of this downturn."
The bill provides a total of $848 million for the SBA, $236 million more than was enacted for Fiscal year 2009. With Americans everywhere struggling to respond to the recession, Velázquez highlighted provisions in the bill that would provide $3 million in microloan subsidies to support $25 million worth of microlending. Microloans traditionally assist low income individuals looking to start their own businesses or unemployed Americans that turn to entrepreneurship as a new source of income.
"Microloans have a proven record of providing a pathway out of poverty for many Americans," said Velázquez. "By adequately funding the SBA's microloan program, this legislation will further spur entrepreneurship."
Velázquez also praised the bill for expanding technical counseling and assistance programs that help prospective entrepreneurs and established businessmen and businesswomen. The legislation provides $110 million for Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). The SBA's nationwide network of SBDCs offers assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance in central and easily accessible branch locations. The funding provided in the bill is $13 million above what was requested in the President's budget this year and exceeds the previous Administration's budget request by over 26%.
"When the economy is in a slump, more Americans turn to entrepreneurship as a way of supporting themselves," Velázquez noted. "By increasing funding for entrepreneurial development services at SBA, we can provide prospective small business owners with knowledge and guidance that will help them launch new enterprises and create new jobs."
If enacted, the FY 2010 funding in H.R. 3170, combined with funding for the SBA in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would come close to returning the agency to its funding levels before 2000. The House passed the legislation by a vote of 219 to 208. The measure must now be considered in the Senate before it is sent to the President to be signed into law.