The Senate this week approved $101 million in additional funding for federal small-business programs aimed at providing entrepreneurs with better access to capital and counseling services.
Several of the programs that will receive extra funding promote economic development and job training in low-income areas, as well as the creation of job opportunities for women and minorities.
Overall, the budget plan provides increased funding for small business development centers, women’s business centers, microloans, contracting assistance, veterans outreach programs, and technical assistance programs. It also increases support for loan oversight initiatives, while reducing oversight fees paid by lenders.
"We're working to create jobs and steer our economy out of this slowdown," Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said in a statement. "The best way to do that is by investing in small businesses, which create more than two-thirds of all jobs and employ over half of our workforce," he said.
Providing small businesses with training will also help give these firms a better shot at doing business with the federal government, Kerry said.