October  2006      Vol. 15, No. 9  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Fiscal Year 2007 Federal Budget Update
Decisions on the SBA Microloan Program will most likely be made after the fall election

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate continue working through the FY 2007 budget process. The House and Senate have completed the appropriation mark-up process.

Despite being zeroed out in the President’s budget, the House Science, State, Justice, and Commerce (SSJC) Appropriations Bill includes funding for the SBA Microloan Program. The House mark-up included $10 million for Micro-loan Technical Assistance, $1 million in Microloan lending budget authority, and $12.5 million for SBA Women’s Business Centers. The bill passed the House.

The Senate Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee markup included $10 million for Microloan Technical Assistance, $2 million in Microloan lending budget authority, and $12.5 million for SBA Women’s Business Centers. This bill will probably not reach the Senate floor for a vote.

The House and Senate will likely begin Conference Committee negotiations to reconcile differences for their respective bills sometime after the November election. If the CJS Subcommittee markup doesn’t go to the floor for a vote, the Conference Committee will work from the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee recommendations.

While federal funding for microenterprise has decreased steadily over the past five years, microenterprises – the nation’s smallest businesses – have played an increasingly large role in our nation’s economy. Across the country, over 27 million microentrepreneurs account for 17 percent of all private employment.
The Microloan Program is the nation’s largest funder – public or private – of microenterprise lending capital and technical assistance. For many very low and moderate-income entrepreneurs, these programs represent the only opportunity they have to receive business training, a business loan, and a real chance at success through self-employment.

REAP has been an SBA Microloan Intermediary since 1992. The SBA Microloan program is the place where REAP and close to 200 other similar organizations in the United States receive their loan capital and technical assistance funds in order to serve you, the entrepreneur. REAP is also proud to operate Nebraska’s only SBA Women’s Business Center.

Contact: Jeff Reynolds, jeffr@alltel.net or 402.656.3091 for more information on the budget.
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