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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Senate Republicans Suggest Cutting SBA BRAC Grant Program

  • October 17, 2011
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A Small Business Administration (SBA) program funding grants for technical assistance to BRAC communities would be eliminated under a set of recommendations sent by Republican members of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee to the congressional deficit reduction committee last week.

The defense transitional assistance grants, which provide matching funds to communities for programs aiding small businesses, “are ineffective and no longer in demand,” according to the letter sent by the committee’s ranking member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). “In fact,” she continued, “the SBA has been unable to use the allocated funding in recent years, given the lack of interest in the program.”

Economic development officials at closed base communities have relied on technical assistance provided by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment, the letter points out. Eliminating the SBA grant program would save an estimated $2 million per year.

A separate recommendation calls for ending a grant program providing technical assistance to help veteran entrepreneurs. Cutting the program, which allocates funds to Small Business Development Centers, would save an estimated $1 million per year. The program is “duplicative,” according to the letter, and is not needed now that the number of regional veterans business centers has grown.

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