Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Senate Passes First Funding Increase for Small-Business Programs in Seven Years

Today, Sen. John Kerry [D-Mass.] applauded the Senate’s passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, which provides more than $40 million in additional funding for key Small Business Administration [SBA] programs over last year’s funding. Each of the SBA’s core programs -- including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and the Microloan program -- will receive an increase.

"For the first time since President Bush took office, small business programs will receive a real funding increase thanks to the Democratic leadership of this Congress," said Kerry, chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

"Small businesses are the economic engine of America and create two thirds of all jobs, but the Bush administration has merely used them as photo ops and backdrops to promote big-business policies," Kerry noted. "Democrats have made clear our commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and to solidifying America’s future competitive edge by investing in small-business programs."

The 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act provides almost $569 million in funding for SBA programs. When funding for the disaster loan program and non-agency spending is excluded because it fluctuates each year, the SBA’s funding is increased by more than $40 million over the 2007 funding levels.

Specifically, the SBA’s core programs will receive:
* Small Business Development Centers: Up 9 percent [from $89 million to $97.1 million]
* Women’s Business Centers: Up 4 percent [from $12.5 million to $13 million]
* Microloan Technical Assistance Grants: Up 15 percent [from $13 million to $15 million]
* Microloans: Up 53 percent [from $1.3 million to $2 million in funds to leverage almost $20 million in loans -- up from $12.7 million last year]
* Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs: Up 50 percent [from $2 million to $3 million]
* 7[j] Management and Technical Assistance Program: Up 53 percent [from $1.5 million to $2.3 million]
* HUBZone Program: Up 5 percent [from $2 million to $2.1 million]
* Surety Bond Guarantee Program: Up 6 percent [from $2.8 million to $3 million]
* Loans and Venture Capital: The SBA will be able to leverage up to $28 billion in loans and venture capital deals through the 7[a], 504, and Small Business Investment Company [SBIC] programs.
SOURCE: U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

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