Big Spending Bill Includes Small Business

The big spending bill headed to President Obama's desk for final approval has several measures in it aiming to aid the small business community.

The measure overall would provide fiscal 2009 funding for nine federal departments, covering all government activities other than defense and homeland security-related agencies, whose funding was approved last fall. Many agencies would see big increases, in some cases 10 percent or more above fiscal 2008 levels.

According to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the bill bumps up funding for the Small Business Administration to $547 million -- that's $63 million more than President Bush's original request for the agency and $47 million more from the amount appropriated last year.

The appropriations measure also gives:

* The SBA the authority to back $17.5 billion for its most widely-used 7(a) program and $7.5 billion for the 504 program, which aids in long-term financing for fixed assets like land and buildings. The SBA doesn't give out money itself, but works with bank partners to offer loans. The measure also authorizes the SBA to back $3 billion for the Small Business Investment Company Program.

* $2.5 million to leverage the microloan program that gives very small loans to startups and the technical assistance for the microloan initiative, and $2 million to leverage $1 billion in surety bonds to aid small contractors.

* $1.2 million for veterans' programs, including funding to add three veterans' business outreach centers .

* $110 million for Small Business Development Centers, which tags $1 million of that money for veterans' assistance programs and $1 million for energy efficiency programs.

* $13.75 million for Women Business Centers and $775,000 for the National Women's Business Council.

* $5 million for the Program for the Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME), which provides training and business assistance to low-income entrepreneurs with very small businesses.

* $2.38 million for the 7(j) technical assistance program, which provides small disadvantaged businesses with training in financing, business development, management, accounting and marketing.

* $5 million for the SCORE Program, which provides one-on-one counseling to small business owners through the use of experienced volunteers.

* $1.03 million for Native American Outreach.

* $2.5 million for the controversial Historically Underutilized Business Zones program (HUBZones), which creates incentives for contracting with small firms to create jobs in underserved communities.

Meanwhile, while fiscal 2009 funding is getting wrapped up, the House Small Business Committee today submitted its recommendations for the SBA's fiscal 2010 budget. The panel wishes to double previous budgets by proposing $1.43 billion in funding for agency programs. The committee said its suggestions would restore SBA funding levels similar to those under the last year of the Clinton administration.

By Sharon McLoone |  March 11, 2009; 2:45 PM ET Policymakers , Regulation Legislation
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Obama to small business: Drop Dead!

Increasing funding for the SBA does little to help most small businesses. It certainly doesn't offset the increase in taxes the feds will extract from small business working capital. And make no mistake about it. The punitive tax changes the Obama administration is proposing directly hit small business working capital. They are proposing to take away the very thing that creates most jobs in the US.

Anyone who doesn't understand how this works doesn't understand how small businesses are taxed.

Posted by: paco6945 | March 12, 2009 11:59 AM

Have you folks noticed that this $780 Million is only one tenth of one percent of the $780 Billion bailout package.

It looks like the administration really believes in Small Business.

How about some deeper reporting?


Posted by: warrior5 | March 16, 2009 2:54 PM

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