Washington Report

SBA Programs Get Short-Term Reprieve

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The House and the Senate voted this week to temporarily extend by three and six months, respectively, authorization of the Small Business Administration and its programs.

The move “ensures that the agency has the stability it needs to provide our innovators and job creators the assistance they need to remain successful. While we continue to make progress on all of our reauthorization measures–SBIR/STTR, SBA’s loans and venture capital programs, contracting assistance, and management counseling – this temporary reauthorization will help keep America’s 29 million small businesses running through the holiday season,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), who chairs the Senate small business committee.

Federal agency, departments, and programs require annual or periodic reauthorization during which they and their funding levels are tweaked or amended to meet changing needs. But with lawmakers’ attention focused primarily on getting healthcare reform bills to their respective floors for a final vote before the end of the year, it is unlikely that the agency will receive long-term reauthorization this year. Both Landrieu and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York), chair of the House small business committee, are working on legislation to update many of the agency’s programs.

Next, the Senate must decide whether it will accept or counter the House’s three-month extension with an authorization period somewhere between three and six months. Stay tuned.

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