Petaluma, Calif. – On Friday, March 14th, the Senate passed a budget that boosts the Small Business Administration's (SBA) budget by $100 million over the Bush Administration's request for the SBA in the 2009 budget blueprint.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) applauds Sen. John F. Kerry (D - MA), the Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad (D - ND) for working together to secure the increase in the SBA's budget.
"This Democratic budget will help create jobs by investing in America's small businesses," Sen. Kerry said in a statement released Friday. "Small businesses create more than two-thirds of all new jobs, yet by refusing to fund important small business programs the Bush Administration has starved entrepreneurs of the resources they need to grow their firms." (For more information, please visit http://sbc.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=294823)
The ASBL has been openly critical of the Bush Administration's handling of the SBA during the last eight years. Under the Bush Administration the SBA budget has been consistently slashed. In 2000, the SBA's budget was $715 million as compared to $569 million in 2008. In 1978, the SBA's budget was more than $3.5 billion, which is a far cry from the $569 million allotted to the SBA by the Bush Administration in 2008. (For more information, please visit http://www.fas.org/man/docs/fy99/historical/095-098.htm)
Since President Reagan, there have been several attempts to close the SBA and end all programs designed to assist America's more than 27 million small businesses. In fact, the Reagan Administration attempted to close the SBA in 1984 and 1985, only to have its efforts blocked by democratic members of Congress. In response, Reagan officials increased the most common small business size standard from 100 to 500 employees. In 1996, Republican members of Congress followed suit and again proposed legislation to close the agency. The attempt failed.
"The SBA's Budget should be $5 billion," said Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League. "The small business administration is there to help the companies that are the heart and soul of the American economy, its small businesses. We hope that the next administration recognizes the value of small businesses and boosts the SBA's budget and staffing to never before seen levels."
The ASBL predicts that despite the increase in the SBA's budget, the Bush Administration will make one final attempt at closing the SBA and ending federal small business programs.
American Small Business League