SBA Microenterprise Funding Update!
The Conference Report of the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill has just been released, which includes final Fiscal Year 2006 funding levels for the SBA Microloan, PRIME and Women’s Business Center programs, including:
SBA Microloan Lending:
$12.7 million SBA Microloan Technical Assistance:
$13 million SBA PRIME Program:
$2 million SBA Women’s Business Centers:
$12,500,000, with not less than 41% going to continue Women’s Business Centers in sustainability status.
We have made it quite a long way! We began this year facing the potential elimination of the microenterprise industry’s flagship programs, SBA Microloan and PRIME. Both of these programs avoided elimination and received final funding levels slightly higher than the House recommended levels and slightly lower than the Senate levels.
Despite sustaining a difficult cut to the SBA PRIME Program this year, AEO will continue to work with our Congressional supporters to ensure the survival of PRIME in the future. We will also work with SBA to encourage an equitable and sensible distribution of SBA PRIME funds. Finally, AEO would like to thank its members for your incredible advocacy this year!
Given the enormous pressures that Congress was under to cut domestic spending, funding for all of AEO’s Legislative Priorities in FY 2006 represents a real victory. In addition, we can honestly say that the efforts of AEO members truly made a difference in ensuring the survival of the SBA Microloan and PRIME programs.
It is expected that the full Senate and House of Representatives will meet to vote on the CJS Conference Report sometime in the next two weeks. No changes or amendments can be made to this bill. If passed by both houses, the final appropriations bill will then go to President Bush for his signature. AEO will keep members updated as the bill moves through this final stage of the process.
The Center for Rural Affairs will also make every effort to keep our supporters and allies updated as the appropriations bill moves through the process.
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