If you make use of the Small Business Administration’s services and programs, you’re not going to like this news one bit.
According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the House Small Business Committee is recommending that $100 million be shaved from the administration’s $985 million requested budget. That’s a sizable chunk of change, but it’s not exactly surprising, given that Congress is very much in cost-cutting mode at the moment.
What’s the reasoning?
“The chasm of the deficit requires tough choices,” said Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., who chairs the committee. “Unfortunately a review of the SBA budget shows no effort to make tough choices. In fact, the administrator wants to start new initiatives — initiatives that are unlikely to help small businesses create jobs. Further, the administrator makes no effort at reducing a bloated headquarters operation.”
What’s not on the table is a proposed $10 million cut to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the nation, which the SBA brought forward. Funding for the Women’s Business Centers and the Veterans Business Centers is being slashed, however, on the Congressional assumption that they’re providing essentially the same services as the SBDCs, albeit in a more targeted fashion.
If you’re a small business, how might this affect you? Well, the panel is recommending that 10 regional offices be shut down, so the local touch might be lost. Some programs that the article states were created without Congressional authorization, such as Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage, are very much on the chopping block. If you used those programs, now might be a good time to write a letter to your representatives.
Ultimately, this will need to be decided by the full Congress, and given the sensitivity about appearing unfriendly to small business, it might be shot down. Either way, this is something to watch closely in the months ahead, regardless of how you feel about it.
Weigh in on the discussion here.