AEO August Recess Packet
August 7, 2017

Action Alert:
Urge Your Senator to Support AEO’s FY2018 Appropriations Request

Dear AEO Members,
On August 3rd, Congress adjourned for the month-long August recess. Your legislators will be back home in their districts and states to meet with constituents, like you, to share updates on their efforts in Washington, DC. They are eager to learn about how these efforts are impacting you. Take advantage of this opportunity to continue AEO’s advocacy work by engaging with your Members of Congress this August.
In July, the House Appropriations Committee has passed the FY2018 Financial Services & General Government and Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee bills. The House Committee funded the Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan program at AEO’s funding request — $31 million for technical assistance and $44 million for lending. Unfortunately, the CDFI Fund at Treasury was funded at only $190 million for FY2018. While it is $176 million above the White House’s request of $14 million, it is still $60 million below AEO’s request. The House Committee also eliminated the PRIME program entirely.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Program also absorbed cuts. In the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee bill, the Rural Business Development Grants ($20 million) and Intermediary Relending Program ($17.5 million) were $10 million and $1.5 million below AEO’s budget request. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program was eliminated entirely by the House.
Our fight now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Entrepreneurship funding requires support from Republicans and Democrats alike. AEO is asking all of its members and supporters to meet with their Senators and urge them to support small business programs. In particular, there are two cornerstone programs that provide critical support to entrepreneurs, especially in economically distressed areas: the Treasury’s CDFI program, and the SBA PRIME program.
Please find a chart below with an update on where AEO’s FY2018 appropriations requests stand, a guide for your August meetings with your Senators, and how to make your meeting count.
We’re halfway there! Thank you for your continued support of AEO and let’s push to the finish line!

Sincerely,
Connie Evans
President & CEO

Download the Recess Packet (PDF version)

Update on AEO’s FY2018 Funding Priorities

Treasury – Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of Jurisdiction: Financial Services & General Government
Program FY2018 AEO Request FY2018 President Request FY2018 House Bill
CDFI Fund $250 million $14 million $190 million

SBA – Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of Jurisdiction: Financial Services & General Government
Program FY2018 AEO Request FY2018 President Request FY2018 House Bill
Microloan –TA $ 31 million $25 million $31 million
Microloan – Lending $44 million $36 million $44 million
PRIME $10 million eliminated eliminated
WBCs $21.5 million $16 million $17 million

USDA – Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of Jurisdiction: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration, and other Agencies
Program FY2018 AEO Request FY2018 President Request FY2018 House
Bill
Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)
$30 million
eliminated
$20 million
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
$3 million
$3 million
eliminated
Intermediary Relending Program (IRP)
$19 million
eliminated
$17.5 million

Support AEO’s FY2018 Budget Request for Entrepreneurial Support Programs

AEO is asking all our members and supporters to meet with their Senators during August recess and urge them to support funding for small business lending and technical assistance programs. Several of these programs are slated for elimination in the House-passed FY2018 appropriations bills. Congress needs to hear from you on how these programs support entrepreneurs and small businesses in your community!
How to Reach Your Senators
The best way to make sure AEO’s message is heard is to schedule a meeting with your Senators through their local office. You can find your Senators here.
• Schedule a meeting with your legislators and/or their staff. Call your district office as early as possible and be flexible. You may have to make more than one call to arrange this meeting.
• An alternative to one-on-one meetings is attending town hall meetings. These are open to the public and can generally be found on the Members website or by contacting the office. If you attend one of those events, you can request a brief introduction with the Member.
• Finally, social media, including Twitter and Facebook, are brief, but well-used avenues for communicating with legislators. Committees also have social media accounts where comments can be directed.

Making the Meeting Valuable
The goal of congressional outreach during recess is to amplify the message AEO builds in Washington DC. Start by introducing yourself, your organization, and sharing information about AEO.
Three tips to get the most out of your meeting:
• Keep It Simple: Members will likely not know the ins and outs of our policy requests. Likewise, you are not expected to be a policy expert. It is important to share how the issue(s) impacts your organization/business.
• Keep It Concise: These meetings tend to be short. Know what you want to say and focus on the “ask” included with each policy priority.
• Follow Up: Follow up matters. After the meeting, be sure to send the appropriate thank you email to the legislator and any staff members in attendance. If you discussed any items that need to be passed along, please do so in a timely fashion. If the legislator asked you any questions and you need additional information, please feel free to send your requests to Nou Vang at nvang@aeoworks.org
Download the Recess Packet (PDF version)