The Following story ran in the Jacksonville Business Journal Regarding H.R. 5819, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act.
House opens SBIR awards to VC-owned firms
By Kent Hoover
The House passed legislation that would make small businesses majority-owned by venture capital firms eligible for Small Business Innovation Research awards.
Through the SBIR program, 2.5 percent of the outside research budgets of 11 federal agencies -- including the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health -- is allocated for small businesses. The program, which funds around $2.3 billion in research every year, has helped thousands of small firms turn promising ideas into real-world applications.
Since 2003, however, the SBIR program has been dogged by controversy over what constitutes a small business. That is when the SBA ruled that a company no longer qualifies as a small business if venture capital firms have an equity stake of 50 percent of more in the company.
To read more please click the following link: (http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/extraedge/washingtonbureau/archive/2008/05/05/bureau1.html?market=jacksonville)
The American Small Business League (ASBL) has launched a national campaign against H.R. 5819 and has taken a strong stance against amending the definition of a small business as "independently owned" to include firms owned and controlled by billionaire venture capitalists. With that in mind, the ASBL encourages all small business owners and concerned citizens to contact their Senators and the office of Senator Kerry (D - MA) to express their concerns regarding H.R. 5819. Tell them that you are opposed to amending the definition of a small business from "independently owned" to include firms owned and controlled by billionaire venture capitalists and that you are opposed to the inappropriate subsidization of well-capitalized businesses.
Please visit the ASBL Action Center at http://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=1030 for more information on what you can do to help put a stop to H.R. 5819.
Additionally, please visit the following link to a great story on the connection between Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, H.R. 5819 and the National Venture Capital Association and big pharmaceutical interests.
Velázquez Champions VC Firms at Small Business Expense
By Keith Girard
April 24, 2008