Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill by a total of 27-21. Despite the deep cuts as compared to the President’s budget, the Committee’s report noted that it had recommended an increase of over $10 million above the requested level for non-credit programs. The following is taken from Subcommittee Chairwoman Jo Ann Emerson’s statement:
“This bill is nine percent less than fiscal year 2011, 18 percent less than fiscal year 2010, and 22.5 percent less than the President’s request. This reduction resulted in some very tough decisions, but they are necessary to reduce the Federal government’s unsustainable level of spending…Funding above the request level was provided for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program, Microloan Technical Assistance and PRIME which are programs that provide critical support to small business, facilitate job creation, and strengthen our economy.”
The Committee did not change funding levels from previously reported figures, including the cut to the CDFI fund by $44 million. They can’t find an offset in the bill to restore the funding, so it will remain at the current approved amount of $183 million. Rep. Lee’s team said that the subcommittee presented a lot of amendments during the committee mark up, but nothing passed. The Democrats lost everything along party line votes.
Below is a table indicating the finalized numbers.
SBA NON-CREDIT BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
- Small Business Development Centers – $112 Million
- Veterans Business Development – $2.5 Million
- SCORE – $7 Million
- Women’s Business Centers – $14 Million
- National Women’s Business Council – $920,000 (thousand, not million)
- Microloan Technical Assistance – $14.48 Million
- PRIME – $5 Million
- Native American Outreach – $1.25 Million
- 7(j) Technical Assistance – $3.1 Million
- HUBZone – $2.5 Million
- Clusters – $8 Million
- Total, SBA non-credit initiatives – $170.75 Million
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY – CDFI
- Fy2011 Level – $226.5 Million
- FY2012 Budget Request – $227.2 Million
- FY12 Enacted – $183 Million
Taken directly from the bill, we thought you would like to see the following language regarding the programs:
The SBA shall not reduce these non-credit programs from the amounts specified above and the SBA shall not merge any of the non-credit programs without advance written approval from the Committee. The Committee recommendation includes an increase of $10,500,000 above the request level for non-credit programs. Funding above the request level was provided for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program, Microloan Technical Assistance and PRIME which are programs that provide critical support to small business, facilitate job creation, and strengthen our economy.
The Committee encourages the SBA to support small business development and entrepreneurship throughout the country by funding non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education that train and educate an entrepreneurial work force and provide business development services designed to accelerate industry sectors that build regional assets.
The Committee strongly supports the SBA’s Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program and believes that it is a critical resource for distressed communities, especially during the current economic downturn. The Committee is aware that there are certain rural areas that are underutilized business areas, but are excluded from HUBZone designation based on the current program authorization. The Committee encourages the SBA to continue to examine ways to incorporate underutilized business areas into any future revisions of the Small Business Act.
The Committee recognizes the value of the 8(a) program in assisting small and disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace and provides sufficient amount of funding to execute the mission of the 8(a) program.
A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report studying duplicative programs in the Federal government identified 80 economic development programs at four agencies, including the SBA, that appeared to overlap with at least one other program in the economic development activities that they are authorized to fund. GAO found that the SBA has taken only limited steps to implement collaborative practices with other Federal agencies. The Committee expects the SBA to seek more opportunities for resource sharing across economic development programs, identify ways to leverage each program’s strengths to improve existing collaborative efforts, and provide the greatest benefit to small businesses at the least cost to taxpayers. The Committee directs the SBA to report to the Committee on its efforts to collaborate with other agencies in the area of economic development within 60 days of enactment of this Act.