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It’s Looking Good for Small Business Assistance Funding

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  
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It’s Looking Good for Small Business Assistance Funding


Women business owners can tally some impressive funding wins as we head into summer. The House Appropriations Committee released their Financial Services and General Government spending bill last week, giving women entrepreneurs a reason to celebrate. WIPP’s advocacy has produced significant funding increases to the programs most important to women starting and expanding their businesses.


Topping the list is the proposed $19 million for the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program. The funding level marks a more than thirty percent increase since WIPP, along with our partners at the Association of Women’s Business Centers, pushed for an increase several years ago.. Not only has funding increased, but also our modernization efforts will ensure that it reaches the centers that provide valuable training and development services to women entrepreneurs.


WIPP’s appropriations efforts have also led to increases in the Small Business Administration’s Microloan program. The program received $44 million for loans and $31 million in technical assistance grants. This is a 25% increase to both parts of the program compared to FY16. The program provides loans up to $50,000 and 60% of these loans go to women entrepreneurs. Coupling this increase with the recently introduced Microloan Modernization Act that streamlines program rules is a recipe for success.


The SBA’s larger 7(a) Loan Program, offering loans up to $5 million, received a $28.5 billion appropriation in the House bill. Just last summer, the Program ran out of lending authority and entrepreneurs could have been shutout from the capital they needed for their businesses. WIPP joined other small business groups and urged our champions in Congress to move swiftly to keep the flow of loans open. They did. Appropriators have recognized the impact of this program and their appropriation ensures that 7(a) will have the lending funds to avert another stoppage.


The appropriations process will continue into the summer and fall as Congress eyes the September 30, 2016 deadline.  WIPP’s Government Relations team will report as soon as the Senate releases their version of the Financial Services funding bill – but for right now, women entrepreneurs are starting the summer on a great note. 


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