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Eight Committee Republicans Pen Letter to SBA Over Work from Home Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, and Rep. Mark Alford (R-MO), led a letter along with Reps. Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Meuser (R-PA), Van Duyne (R-TX), Stauber (R-MN), Ellzey (R-TX), and Bean (R-FL) to the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Isabella Guzman, regarding the SBA’s work from home policy. Chairman Williams and Rep. Alford issued the following statements.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is over and done with, and it’s past time the SBA return to work fully,” said Chairman Williams. “The SBA is tasked with one purpose – to help Main Street. It’s difficult to do that effectively when you’re working from home and are more focused on making sure your laundry is washed and folded rather than ensuring the needs of our entrepreneurs are met. Our small business owners don’t have the luxury to work from home, and the SBA should be marching to the same tune. I hope that Administrator Guzman will heed the concerns of this Committee and require SBA employees to return to the office so the SBA can function as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

“It’s long past time to get Washington back to work for Main Street. Administrator Guzman owes the public an explanation why she is requesting $42,000,000 for a nearly empty building,” said Rep. Alford. “I sincerely hope that Administrator Guzman shares her action plan on getting the SBA back to work for America’s 33 million small businesses.”


Read the full letter here.

Read excerpts from the letter below:

“We write concerning the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) return to work policy. House Committee on Small Business (Committee) Republicans have consistently raised questions around the SBA’s in-office work policies and their detrimental impact on the SBA’s ability to help America’s small businesses. Chairman Roger Williams led nine Committee members in a letter expressing concerns about work-from-home policy last summer. Unfortunately since then it seems the SBA has made little progress in returning to work to ensure America’s small business needs are met.

“Despite the Biden Administration’s belated realization that work from home policies are counterproductive to servicing the American public, it appears that the SBA has failed to implement an effective strategy to return its employees. Nearly a year after the Biden Administration ended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the SBA is still not back to work. Data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates that the SBA's headquarters is operating at a mere 10 percent capacity, placing it in the bottom quartile of office usage among Federal Agencies.

“Despite this consistent underutilization, the SBA's recent release of their FY2025 funding requests includes a staggering $42 million allocation for rent—marking a 30 percent increase over FY23 funding. This Committee is deeply troubled by the rationale behind such a substantial increase in funding over just two years. In your testimony during the Committee hearing, you stated, ‘[w]e have 50 percent occupancy on any given day,’ a dramatically different number than that of GAO. Even if that is true, leaving a multimillion dollar building empty between 50 and 90 percent of the time is unacceptable and a waste of taxpayer dollars. This is also inconsistent with what we witnessed with our own eyes on December 3, 2023, when we toured SBA and walked past rows and rows of empty desks.

“The White House Chief of Staff, Jeff Zients, finally bowed to reality and has attempted to curb the federal workforce’s lax work-from-home policies. Mr. Zients directed agency heads, including yourself, to submit action plans outlining their strategies for complying with return-to-work policies to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by January 26, 2024.

“When pressed about this action plan, you stated, ‘[w]e are complying with the standards, SBA is back five days a pay period.’ This answer is rather deceptive, as the pay period is a total of ten days, or showing up to work 50 percent of the time. Perhaps more concerning is the guidance given to SBA employees: beginning January 2, 2024 employees are required to report to a physical office 4 days a pay period, with supervisors, managers, and political appointees required at 5 days a pay period, contradicting what was stated in your testimony.”