Statement of the Hon. Nydia Velazquez on 09-09-21 Markup
Washington, September 9, 2021
"Today we will be considering the small business title of reconciliation pursuant to S. Con. Res. 14, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which will provide $25 billion over ten years to the Small Business Administration. As required by House Rules, copies of the Committee Print have been made available to members and the public at least 24 hours in advance.
"Small businesses are the engines that drive economic growth, employing more than 60 million Americans. They are also the glue that binds our communities together. They fund local tax bases, create good paying jobs, and reinvest in our cities and towns. Put simply, when they are successful, our country is successful.
"Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated small businesses across the country. To build our economy back to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, we must fully support our nation’s entrepreneurs. The package we are considering today will make historic investments in SBA programs that go beyond just recovery and provide long-term solutions to perennial challenges – like access to capital, entrepreneurial development, federal procurement enhancements, and innovation.
"Expanding access to capital is this Committee’s number one priority because it promotes long-term economic growth, particularly for the smallest of the small businesses. With that said, lending reports have shown that loans under $150,000 have decreased by more than 40 percent over the past decade.
"To fill those gaps in our lending market, and ensure underrepresented entrepreneurs have the capital they need to launch and grow their businesses, this package provides a $4.4 billion investment in direct lending of less than $150,000 and targeted loans of $1 million to government contractors and small manufacturers.
"Most importantly, SBA will continue to work with mission lenders to leverage the inroads that were made over the past year to reach entrepreneurs that have long been left behind.
"Today’s package also provides more than $9.5 billion in the SBIC program to ensure small entities with high growth potential have the long-term capital they need to scale up. It also creates a pathway for investing more patient capital in small manufacturers and firms in critical industries to meet our nation’s most pressing needs. And it expands the program’s geographic reach, investing in companies all throughout the country, rather than just the coastal hubs.
"Contracting is another foolproof way to advance our economy. To reverse the 38 percent decline in the number of small businesses participating in our federal contracting programs since 2010, today’s package invests more than $2 billion over 10 years to increase federal contracting opportunities for small businesses.
"And to jumpstart new business development in the recovery, it provides roughly $2 billion dollars to create a national network of incubators and accelerators.
"Whether it’s the college grad with a dream of scaling the successful charcuterie business, or the STEM researcher on the brink of a major discovery, these innovation investments will enable gifted entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to marketplace and accelerate their growth.
"Put simply, these investments in the SBA’s core programs—capital, contracting, and counseling— will put small companies on the path to a long-term success, and in turn, boost economic growth in communities across the country.
"I am proud of the work our Committee has accomplished, and I urge all members to support this measure."