October 10, 2000
The Administration is pleased that the Senate amendment includes language authorizing the Native American Small Business Development Center, improvements to the Microloan Program, and the extensions of the sunset for the co-sponsorship and the Small Business Development Center Drug Free Workplace Grant programs. The Administration would oppose any amendment to delete provisions that reauthorize or extend SBA programs, or that provide for improvements in the Microloan Program. The Administration would also oppose any amendment that would decrease the access of Native Americans to SBA programs afforded by the Senate amendment.
The Administration appreciates the inclusion of language in the Senate amendment that specifically authorizes the establishment of Native American Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Native American SBDCs would be funded with specific funds within the amount appropriated for the SBDC program and would operate with the assistance and support of the existing SBDC network. The creation of these new Native American Small Business Development Centers is a good first step, and SBA will report back on ways that Native American Small Business Development Centers can be more fully integrated into the existing Small Business Development network. The Administrator would also have the authority, if in the best interests of the program, to waive the matching funds requirements for such centers when financial circumstances warrant.
The Administration will also work with Congress to make the following changes to the bill: