Congressional Leaders Set FY2015 Appropriations; Terms Will Prevent Government Shutdown
Dear AEO Members and Partners,
Congressional leaders have agreed to terms on FY2015 appropriations that will avert a government shutdown and fund the government through September 30, 2015, the end of the fiscal year. I am happy to share good news with our members and partners when it comes to funding for the many business lending and assistance services that our members provide to microbusinesses across the country.
You will see that the funding numbers listed below represent increases — substantial in some cases — over FY2014 funding in nearly every single case. This is truly wonderful news for AEO and its members, considering the overall funding levels agreed to in the overarching bill are $246 million below last year's levels. This truly is a testament to AEO's continued leadership on Capitol Hill, our advocacy efforts, and those of our members.
SBA PRIME $5 Million (42% increase over FY14)
SBA Micro Lending $25 Million (AEO recommended level)
SBA Micro TA $22.3 Million (12% increase over FY14)
SBA WBC Program $15 Million (7% increase over FY14)
SBA SBDC Program $115 Million (1% increase over FY14)
SBA Boots 2 Business $7.5 Million (7% increase over FY14)
SBA 7(j) TA $2.8 Million (same as FY14)
SBA 7(a) Lending $18.75 Billion in Loan Authority
Treasury CDFI Fund $230.5 Million (2% increase over FY14)
-- $18 Million is reserved for the Bank Enterprise Award Program
-- $1 Million is reserved specifically for CDFI Capacity Building in Underserved Communities, intended to enhance the CDFI presence and activities in underserved communities
-- The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program is authorized at $750 Billion
USDA RMAP $3 Million (same as FY14; mandatory funding)
USDA RBEG $24 Million (same as FY14)
DOL WIF DOL WIF operates on 2-year funding cycle; funded at $47 Million in FY14
The bill also included a number of policy provisions.
Microloan TA. The bill includes a directive requiring the SBA to assess the impact of the requirement that only 25 percent of funds for Microloan TA may be used for pre-loan TA and is directed to submit recommendations to the Congress within 90 days. AEO has been working tirelessly to remove the 25/75 percent technical assistance (TA) requirement from the Microloan Program. This change was included in Senator Maria Cantwell's legislation last summer. AEO engaged with a number of members during the fall to collect statements in support of this change to be included in the funding bill. The included directive doesn't go as far as we would have liked, but is nonetheless a big step forward. This will afford AEO the opportunity to work with the SBA in the coming months to develop recommendations, both on the 25/75 requirement and other improvements we have already identified. We will work to implement changes supported by the AEO community. Thank you to the many members who took the time to work with AEO’s Government Relations Team on this effort. Your assistance is greatly appreciated and is an asset to the entire AEO community.
Internet Tax Ban.The bill extends the moratorium on internet taxation (known as the "Internet Tax Freedom Act") through October 1, 2015. This is of interest to businesses selling items online and across state borders.
SBA Loans for Veterans. The bill would waive all 7(a) loan fees for veterans and their spouses.
Women Veteran Entrepreneurs. The bill directs the SBA, and its partners, including Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers to identify steps to improve outreach to women veteran entrepreneurs.
The FY2015 funding bill will likely go up for a vote in Congress on Thursday in order to avoid a government shutdown (Thursday at midnight). It is increasingly likely that Congressional Leadership will decide to pass a short-term continuing resolution, likely for two to three days, to allow enough time to complete their work.
A summary as well as the full text of the FY2015 funding bill is available here.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone once again for your continued membership and commitment to AEO. The funding levels contained in this legislation are a testament to our organization’s strength and would not have been possible without your engagement and advocacy efforts supporting the AEO Team. If you are not a current member, please take the time now, behind this good news on appropriations that benefit you to join or renew your membership.
Connie Evans, President & CEO
Association for Enterprise Opportunity
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