H.R. 2284 (110th): To amend the Small Business Act to expand and improve the assistance provided by Small Business Development Centers to Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 21, 2007 (Referred to Senate Committee).

Source: GPO

IIB

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2284

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 21, 2007

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

AN ACT

To amend the Small Business Act to expand and improve the assistance provided by Small Business Development Centers to Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

1.

Findings and purposes

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The rate for American Indians and Alaskan Natives living below 50 percent the poverty level is 11.2 percent, nearly double the rate of the general population.

(2)

The unemployment rate for American Indians and Alaskan Natives 16 years and over is 13.6 percent, nearly double the rate of the general population.

(3)

Indian tribe members and Alaska Natives own more than 201,000 businesses and generate more than $26,000,000,000 in revenues. The construction industry accounted for 16 percent of these businesses and 22.5 percent of their total receipts. The next largest was the service industry (13.2 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively). The third largest was the health care and social assistance industry (12.1 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively).

(4)

The Small Business Development Center program is cost effective. Clients receiving long-term counseling under the program in 2005 generated additional tax revenues of $248,000,000, nearly 2.8 times the cost of the program to the Federal Government.

(5)

Using the existing infrastructure of the Small Business Development Center program, small businesses owned by Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians receiving services under the program will have a higher survival rate than the average small business not receiving such services.

(6)

Business counseling and technical assistance is critical on Indian lands where similar services are scarce and expensive.

(7)

Increased assistance through counseling under the Small Business Development Center program has been shown to reduce the default rate associated with lending programs of the Small Business Administration.

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are as follows:

(1)

To stimulate economies on Indian lands.

(2)

To foster economic development on Indian lands.

(3)

To assist in the creation of new small businesses owned by Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and expand existing ones.

(4)

To provide management, technical, and research assistance to small businesses owned by Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

(5)

To seek the advice of local Tribal Councils on where small business development assistance is most needed.

(6)

To ensure that Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have full access to existing business counseling and technical assistance available through the Small Business Development Center program.

2.

Small Business Development Center assistance to Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians

(a)

In general

Section 21(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 648(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(8)

Additional grant to assist Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians

(A)

In general

Any applicant in an eligible State that is funded by the Administration as a Small Business Development Center may apply for an additional grant to be used solely to provide services described in subsection (c)(3) to assist with outreach, development, and enhancement on Indian lands of small business startups and expansions owned by Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

(B)

Eligible States

For purposes of subparagraph (A), an eligible State is a State that has a combined population of Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians that comprises at least 1 percent of the State’s total population, as shown by the latest available census.

(C)

Grant applications

An applicant for a grant under subparagraph (A) shall submit to the Administration an application that is in such form as the Administration may require. The application shall include information regarding the applicant’s goals and objectives for the services to be provided using the grant, including—

(i)

the capability of the applicant to provide training and services to a representative number of Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians;

(ii)

the location of the Small Business Development Center site proposed by the applicant;

(iii)

the required amount of grant funding needed by the applicant to implement the program; and

(iv)

the extent to which the applicant has consulted with local Tribal Councils.

(D)

Applicability of grant requirements

An applicant for a grant under subparagraph (A) shall comply with all of the requirements of this section, except that the matching funds requirements under paragraph (4)(A) shall not apply.

(E)

Maximum amount of grants

No applicant may receive more than $300,000 in grants under this paragraph for one fiscal year.

(F)

Regulations

After providing notice and an opportunity for comment and after consulting with the Association recognized by the Administration pursuant to paragraph (3)(A) (but not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this paragraph), the Administration shall issue final regulations to carry out this paragraph, including regulations that establish—

(i)

standards relating to educational, technical, and support services to be provided by Small Business Development Centers receiving assistance under this paragraph; and

(ii)

standards relating to any work plan that the Administration may require a Small Business Development Center receiving assistance under this paragraph to develop.

(G)

Definitions

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(i)

Indian lands

The term Indian lands has the meaning given the term Indian country in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code, the meaning given the term Indian reservation in section 151.2 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of enactment of this paragraph), and the meaning given the term reservation in section 4 of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1903).

(ii)

Indian tribe

The term Indian tribe means any band, nation, or organized group or community of Indians located in the contiguous United States, and the Metlakatla Indian Community, whose members are recognized as eligible for the services provided to Indians by the Secretary of the Interior because of their status as Indians.

(iii)

Indian tribe member

The term Indian tribe member means a member of an Indian tribe (other than a Alaska Native).

(iv)

Alaska Native

The term Alaska Native has the meaning given the term Native in section 3(b) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602(b)).

(v)

Native Hawaiian

The term Native Hawaiian means any individual who is—

(I)

a citizen of the United States; and

(II)

a descendant of the aboriginal people, who prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.

(vi)

Tribal organization

The term tribal organization has the meaning given that term in section 4(l) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b(l)).

(H)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph $7,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2010.

(I)

Funding limitations

(i)

Nonapplicability of certain limitations

Funding under this paragraph shall be in addition to the dollar program limitations specified in paragraph (4).

(ii)

Limitation on use of funds

The Administration may carry out this paragraph only with amounts appropriated in advance specifically to carry out this paragraph.

.

3.

State consultation with tribal organizations

Section 21(c) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 648(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(9)

Advice of local tribal organizations

A Small Business Development Center receiving a grant under this section shall request the advice of tribal organization on how best to provide assistance to Indian tribe members, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and where to locate satellite centers to provide such assistance.

.

Passed the House of Representatives June 20, 2007.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.