U.S. small business legislation

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A “small business” in the U.S. is generally defined as a business with less than 100 employees. These businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships. The U.S. Congress often considers legislation aimed at influencing the ability of these businesses to compete, or affecting their federal tax responsibilities. This page deals with these efforts.

Contents

110th Congress

House

Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007

On April 25, 2007, the House considered a bill, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), aimed at improving small business access to capital programs of the Small Business Administration. Specifically, the bill would[1]:

  • Carry forward a program aimed at increasing medical professionals in shortage areas
  • Increase veterans’ access to small business startup funding
  • Authorize loan projects that reduce energy consumption by at least ten-percent
  • Modify certification requirements for participating developer organizations.[2]


The bill was considered in response to a reduction in available capital to small businesses due to increased interest and lending rates and the expected return of veterans in significant numbers who wanted to start small businesses. The programs modified by the bill would be a 504 program that aims for economic development and local reinvestment and usually involves major fixed assets, and a 7(a) program that provides variable rate, shorter term financing for general business needs.[3]

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that implementing H.R. 1332 would cost $316 million in 2008 and $2.3 billion from 2008 through 2012.[4]

The bill passed, 380 to 45.[5]


SBA Women's Business Programs Act of 2007

On June 18, 2007, the House considered the SBA Women's Business Programs Act of 2007 (H.R.2397). Specifically, the bill would:

  • Require that the National Women’s Business Council conduct a yearly study for Congress to evaluate the problems hindering the success of women entrepreneurs.[6]
  • Authorize the SBA Administrator to provide financial assistance to private nonprofit organizations to conduct projects for the benefit of women-owned and operated small business concerns. The assistance would include financial assistance for training and counseling on how to apply for and secure business credit and investment capital, preparing and presenting financial statements and managing cash flow and other business financial operations. Management assistance regarding assessing markets and preparing and executing marketing plans and strategies would be included along with locating contracting opportunities, negotiating contracts and utilizing public relations and advertising techniques. The assistance would be available in tiers: one to conduct a 5-year project where such a project is yet to be conducted. The second would be a 3-year project where a first tier project is being completed and the third would be a 3-year project where a second tier project is being completed. The third tier project would be based on total number of women served and the proportion of low income women and social-economic distribution, as well as the proportion of socially or economically disadvantaged in the area. Other factors such as future fundraising plans and diversity of services provided would be included.[7]
  • Declare that in the first and second year, two federal dollars would be matched by one non-federal dollar based on a formula reflecting the percentage of population below median income.[8]


The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), passed by a voice vote.[9]

SBA Veterans' Programs Act of 2007

On June 18, 2007, the House considered the SBA Veterans' Programs Act of 2007 (H.R.2366). The bill would:

  • Direct the Associate Administrator to increase veteran outreach by ensuring that the Veteran Business Outreach Centers regularly participate, nationwide, in workshops of the Transition Assistance Program of the Department of Labor. A center could provide grants to eligible entities located in TAP locations to make presentations on the opportunities available from the DBA for recently separated veterans to include business training resources from the SBA. A report on the implementation to Congress would be required.[10]
  • Establish a Women’s Veterans Business Training Resource Program to compile information on resources available to women veterans for business training, including vocational and technical educations, general business skills such as marketing and accounting and advertising, and accounting. An assistance program for women veterans would be included.[11]
  • Allow a Business Development Center to apply for grants to carry out veterans assistance and services programs. The Centers would create a marketing campaign to promote awareness and education of services available at the Center. The campaign would target veterans, disabled veterans, military units, federal agencies and veteran’s organizations. Technology-assisted online counseling and distance learning technology would be available and coordination with organizations that assist veterans would be incorporated into a one-stop pint of contact for veterans who are entrepreneurs or small business owners.[12]
  • Expand veteran’s business outreach centers by at least two for both FY 2008 and 2009 and by a number considered appropriate by the administrator for each additional fiscal year. The Administrator would produce a study to identify gaps that exist as to informed decisions on funding and allocation of resources in the availability of Veterans Business Outreach Centers.[13]


The bill, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), passed in the House by a voice vote.[14]

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Finance," TheWeekInCongress, April 27, 2007.
  2. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Finance," TheWeekInCongress, April 27, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Finance," TheWeekInCongress, April 27, 2007.
  4. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Finance," TheWeekInCongress, April 27, 2007.
  5. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Finance," TheWeekInCongress, April 27, 2007.
  6. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  7. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  8. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  9. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  10. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  11. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  12. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  13. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  14. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.

External resources

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