WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Committee on Small Business passed H.R. 3867, the Small Business Contracting Program Improvements Act of 2007, and H.R. 3866, the Small Business Programs Act of 2007.
The Small Business Contracting Program Improvements Act will update the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) contracting programs and make critical changes that will open up new opportunities for small businesses. The bill ensures government contract opportunities for small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, expands opportunities for women entrepreneurs, strengthens community development and modernizes the 8(a) program.
Placing veteran small business owners at the top of the list for receiving federal contracts will eliminate the barriers that veterans face in receiving non-competitive contracts. It also will require the SBA to fulfill its obligations under Executive Order 13360, which will give veterans access to procurement assistance.
“Small businesses rely on access to affordable capital to develop their ventures and create jobs,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “Many of our returning veterans hope to start a small business and this legislation will help these veterans become successful entrepreneurs.”
Additionally, the bill provides agencies with sufficient information to immediately implement the Women’s Procurement Program, as well as modernize the 8(a) program.
H.R. 3866, the Small Business Programs Act, reauthorizes several programs under the SBA. Among others, it authorizes $80 million in appropriations for technical assistance grants and $110 million in direct loans under the Microloan program. The bill also authorizes the administration to allocate $28 billion in guarantees for the 7(a), Microloan, and SBIC programs, and authorizes the SCORE program for $7 million. It also creates a new authorization for the PRIME program and funds it at $20 million.
Also included are reauthorizations for the Small Business Development Center Program, Women’s Business Center Program, HUBZone, Office of Veterans Business Development and the National Women’s Business Council.
“By reauthorizing many of our small business programs, the climate improves for investment in small firms,” said Grijalva. “This will benefit the nation’s current and future entrepreneurs. Together, these bills will help bring the SBA into the 21st century.”