Need a boost? The proposed SBA budget could cheer you up.
By Cynthia E. Griffin
Small-business owners could get a big increase in services and funding if Congress approves President Clinton's proposed fiscal year 1999 SBA budget.
The proposed $724.4 million budget is slightly more than a 1 percent increase over the 1998 appropriation and, according to a Senate Small Business Committee spokesperson, is one of the best SBA budgets ever submitted.
Among the proposals:
- adding $153 million to the 7(a) General Business Loan Guaranty program, which is expected to support $11 billion in new loans
- infusing $5.7 million into the Microloan Program, which, when leveraged, will total $60 million
- more than doubling funding for the Women's Business Center Network from $4 million to $9 million, which will help underwrite the establishment of up to 30 new centers and subcenters
- allocating $4 million toward the HUBZone program, which provides federal government contracting opportunities to small businesses located in economically distressed areas
- pumping $10 million into the Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC) program.
At press time, the budget as a whole was scheduled to move from the House and Senate Appropriations committees to their respective floors for debate. Then comes a full-Congress vote and most likely a trip to a conference committee to reconcile differences. Once approved by Congress, the budget returns to the President for a signature by October 1. Although the Senate Small Business Committee is concerned that the allocation for the SBIC program may be too small, officials do not expect any significant battles over the SBA proposals.
Trudy E. Bell, 1260 Andrews Ave., Lakewood, OH 44107, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taylor Hartman, 7070 Union Park Ctr., #335, Midvale, UT 84047, (800) 761-0001
Interactive Family Management, (888) NANNY-A1, email@example.com
Jefferson Bank Business Resource Network, 1607 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103, (888) JEFF-SOS
PlanetAll, (617) 661-3995, http://www.planetall.com
Tighe Industries Inc., 333 E. Seventh Ave., P.O. Box 709, York, PA 17405-0709, (717) 852-6936.