The SBA wants to change itself into a mean, lean fighting machine. Administrator Hector V. Barreto Jr. has a five-year plan to make the sometimes unwieldy agency more responsive and less focused on the banks that are the backbone of its marquee loan and loan guarantee programs.
At hearings in the House Committee on Small Business in July, Lloyd A. Blanchard, the SBA's chief operating officer, said, "SBA, and not its private partners, must be 'in charge' of SBA's customers."
The SBA reconfiguration will include creating high-tech tools for grants, loan transactions and eligibility reviews. Regional offices will get more authority, and district offices will lose a number of loan-related responsibilities.
K-1 Is for the K-9s
Entrepreneurs claiming income from partnerships or S corporations can breathe easier. The IRS is discontinuing its Schedule K-1 document-matching program until improvements are made.
The program had already resulted in 65,000 notices being sent about potential discrepancies. (Recipients of those notices must answer them.) Schedule K-1s are documents filed by partnerships and S corps reporting income, deductions and credits individuals take out. Some of that information has to be included on the 1040.
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), top Republican on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, says he has no problem with a matching initiative. But he had pressed IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti to ensure that entrepreneurs not spend considerable time and money responding to unwarranted notices.
Stephen Barlas is a freelance business reporter who covers the Washington beat for 15 magazines.