“There isn’t a federal agency that should be immune from cutbacks and fiscal discipline and the Small Business Administration is no different,” said Rep. Sam Graves, R-Missouri, chair of the House Small Business Committee, in a statement.
The SBA has requested $985 million in funding for the next fiscal year.
President Barack Obama has proposed slashing $28 million in SBA funding in his executive budget, but Graves said that number is not large enough.
Republicans have trained their attention on eliminating programs and offices they said are inefficient, unsuccessful and redundant.
There is uncertainty, however, about the impact these cuts might have on SBA programs in Nevada if they were to be enacted.
“I’m not sure how” it might affects us, said Edward Cadena, director of the Nevada district office of the SBA. “We don’t respond to proposals.”
Christopher Lorenzana, regional spokesperson for the SBA, echoed this point.
“The reality is it’s difficult to trace how individual districts would be affected,” he said.
Others said they were following developments closely, but remained optimistic that they would escape the brunt of cuts.
“We should not be directly affected,” said Adrien Burney, senior vice president of the Nevada State Development Corporation, a nonprofit that helps people secure SBA loans but does not receive federal funding.
Under Republican plans, funding for women’s and veterans’ business centers would see significant reductions in funding. And entrepreneurial outreach programs directed at Native Americans would cease to exist within the SBA. The Bureau of Indian Affairs would have to assume responsibility for their continued presence.
The proposals also call for shuttering 10 district offices that support the efforts of 84 local offices across all 50 states.
Elsewhere, an additional $2.5 million on top of the $9 million proposed under President Obama’s plan would be slashed from microloan technical assistance programs, which provide support to start-up businesses that are unable to secure credit from conventional lending sources.
Rod Jorgensen, director of counseling at Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC) located at the University of Nevada, Reno, said microloans are a “highly viable funding source” and that he doesn’t agree with cutting their funding.
The news is not all bad, however, if you’re a small business development center.
The Republican plan proposes to restore about $5 million to the $9.6 million in cuts advanced under President Obama’s plan.
“All I can assume,” Jorgensen said, “is that Democrats and Republicans see value in what we do.”
The NSBDC provides management consulting services to both start-up and existing businesses. Its funding has been reduced by about $400,000 since the start of the recession in 2007, Jorgensen said. He expects a small increase in funding next year — no matter what happens with the federal budget — as a result of Nevada’s census-certified population increase over the last decade.
In the meantime, “we do what we can,” Jorgensen said, and wait to see just what federal spending cuts will look like when they finally come down the pipe.