House Committee on Small Business Rejects President?s FY 2009 Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier this month, the Bush Administration issued its FY 2009 budget, which slashes programs specifically designed to help entrepreneurs and small business.
Today, the House Committee on Small Business, including member Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, voted to reject the Administration’s proposal. The committee also submitted its own recommendations, which will ensure America’s small firms can continue their work and thrive.
“The Administration’s budget for FY 2009 is more of the same. It continues eight years of systematic cuts to federal initiatives meant to spur entrepreneurship and help small businesses prosper,” said Rep. Grijalva.
For FY 2009, the President proposed slashing programs under the Small Business Administration (SBA) by 15%. That amounts to an aggregate reduction of more than 50% since 2001. Initiatives such as the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)—both of which provide crucial technical assistance to entrepreneurs—are cut. The same is true for the 7(a) loan program, whose lender fees are raised to the highest allowable level despite a growing need for affordable capital. The budget also terminates funding for several other important programs, among them: Microloans—one of the SBA’s only sources of assistance for low-income entrepreneurs—as well as PRIME, the New Markets Program and SBIR Fast.
In contrast, the committee’s proposal recognizes the central role played by affordable capital and high quality technical assistance in the fostering of entrepreneurial success. It calls for fully funding proven SBA programs, among them SBDCs and WBCs. It also provides respective loan levels of $20 billion and $30 million for the 7(a) and Microloan programs, and ensures that the agency will better serve entrepreneurs while eliminating fraud from federal contracting programs.
“America’s small businesses are the backbone of our country, and they deserve our support,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Giving them the tools they need to succeed is not only necessary, it is vital.”