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End of Year Appropriations Scramble

December 16, 2015


Establishing funding levels is always one of the toughest debates in Congress and though appropriations have not yet been finalized, we are expecting great news for the programs that AEO members care about.

As the year comes to a close, Congress is hustling to check off their legislative to-do lists before leaving for Holiday recess and the most critical item remaining is appropriations.

Negotiators in the House and Senate are working around the clock to put the finishing touches on an “omnibus” spending bill to fund the government. An omnibus combines all spending measures into one bill. Currently, the government is being funded by a continuing resolution (CR), a short-term spending bill that keeps last year’s spending levels in place. The current CR expires on Friday, December 11, but Congress is passing an extension that will give lawmakers until Wednesday, December 16, to pass the catchall omnibus.

Funding for small business lending and entrepreneurial development programs is essential to the success of microbusinesses. Throughout the year, AEO has been advocating for full and increased funding levels to support the programs that are critical to microbusinesses. AEO’s efforts have contributed to broad, bipartisan support for programs that provide capital and training for micro-entrepreneurs. The final spending levels will be based on previously reported House and Senate versions that are detailed on the chart below:

Program

AEO's Requests

House Appropriations

Senate Appropriations

Treasury CDFI Fund

$233.5 million

$233.5 million

$233.5 million

Treasury CDFI BGP

$750 million

Not Included

$750 million

Microloan Program Lending Authority

$35 million

$35 million

$35 million

Microloan Program Technical Assistance

$25 million

$25 million

$25 million

PRIME Program

$5 million

$5 million

Not Included

Women’s Business Centers

$16 million

$17 million

$15 million

SBA Boots to Business

$7.5 million

* Full Funding

* Full Funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Veteran’s programs are not itemized. Funding for all veteran’s programs met the Small Business Administration’s request level.

Not only are AEO’s requested funding levels met in both the House and the Senate, several programs received substantial increases from last year. Microloan program lending will jump from $25 million in FY2015 to $35 million for FY2016. Additionally, Technical Assistance for microlenders has been increased by over 10% from $22.3 million to $25 million. We are also pleased that the CDFI fund will receive their full funding and that the House exceeded our requests for funding the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program.

Based on the range provided in the House and Senate versions of appropriations, AEO expects tremendous support for microbusinesses when spending levels are finalized. We would like to thank all of our members for their dedication and support. Achieving these funding levels for critical programs would not be possible without the steadfast commitment of our members.


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