H.R. 1838 (111th): To amend the Small Business Act to modify certain provisions relating to women’s business centers, and for ...

...other purposes.

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Nov 09, 2009 (Referred to Senate Committee).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IIB

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1838

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 9, 2009

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

AN ACT

To amend the Small Business Act to modify certain provisions relating to women’s business centers, and for other purposes.

1.

Notification of grants; publication of grant amounts

Section 29 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(o)

Notification of grants; publication of grant amounts

The Administrator shall disburse funds to a women’s business center not later than 1 month after the center’s application is approved under this section. At the end of each fiscal year the Administrator (acting through the Office of Women’s Business ownership) shall publish on the Administration’s website a report setting forth the total amount of the grants made under this Act to each women’s business center in the fiscal year for which the report is issued, the total amount of such grants made in each prior fiscal year to each such center, and the total amount of private matching funds provided by each such center over the lifetime of the center.

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2.

Communications

Section 29 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656), as amended, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(p)

Communications

The Administrator shall establish, by rule, a standardized process to communicate with women’s business centers regarding program administration matters, including reimbursement, regulatory matters, and programmatic changes. The Administrator shall notify each women’s business center of the opportunity for notice and comment on the proposed rule.

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3.

Funding

(a)

Formula

Section 29(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656(b)) is amended to read as follows:

(b)

Authority

(1)

In general

The Administrator may provide financial assistance to private nonprofit organizations to conduct projects for the benefit of small business concerns owned and controlled by women. The projects shall provide—

(A)

financial assistance, including training and counseling in how to apply for and secure business credit and investment capital, preparing and presenting financial statements, and managing cash flow and other financial operations of a business concern;

(B)

management assistance, including training and counseling in how to plan, organize, staff, direct, and control each major activity and function of a small business concern, including implementing cost-saving energy techniques; and

(C)

marketing assistance, including training and counseling in identifying and segmenting domestic and international market opportunities, preparing and executing marketing plans, developing pricing strategies, locating contract opportunities, negotiating contracts, and utilizing varying public relations and advertising techniques.

(2)

Tiers

The Administrator shall provide assistance under paragraph (1) in 3 tiers of assistance as follows:

(A)

The first tier shall be to conduct a 5-year project in a situation where a project has not previously been conducted. Such a project shall be in a total amount of not more than $150,000 per year. Projects receiving assistance under this subparagraph that possess the capacity to train existing or potential business owners in the fields of green technology, clean technology, or energy efficiency shall receive the maximum award under this subparagraph.

(B)

The second tier shall be to conduct a 3-year project in a situation where a first-tier project is being completed. Such a project shall be in a total amount of not more than $100,000 per year.

(C)

The third tier shall be to conduct a 3-year project in a situation where a second-tier project is being completed. Such a project shall be in a total amount of not more than $100,000 per year. Third-tier grants shall be renewable subject to established eligibility criteria as well as criteria in subsection (b)(4).

(3)

Allocation of funds

Of the amounts made available for assistance under this subsection, the Administrator shall allocate—

(A)

at least 40 percent for first-tier projects under paragraph (2)(A);

(B)

20 percent for second-tier projects under paragraph (2)(B); and

(C)

the remainder for third-tier projects under paragraph (2)(C).

(4)

Benchmarks for third-tier projects

In awarding third-tier projects under paragraph (2)(C), the Administrator shall use benchmarks based on socio-economic factors in the community and on the performance of the applicant. The benchmarks shall include—

(A)

the total number of women served by the project;

(B)

the proportion of low income women and socio-economic distribution of clients served by the project;

(C)

the proportion of individuals in the community that are socially or economically disadvantaged (based on median income);

(D)

the future fund-raising and service coordination plans;

(E)

the capacity of the project to train existing or potential business owners in the fields of green technology, clean technology, or energy efficiency;

(F)

the diversity of services provided; and

(G)

geographic distribution within and across the 10 regions of the Small Business Administration.

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(b)

Matching

Subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 29(c)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656(c)(1)) are amended to read as follows:

(A)

For the first and second years of the project, 1 non-Federal dollar for each 2 Federal dollars.

(B)

Each year after the second year of the project—

(i)

1 non-Federal dollar for each Federal dollar; or

(ii)

if the center is in a community at least 50 percent of the population of which is below the median income for the State or United States territory in which the center is located, 1 non-Federal dollar for each 2 Federal dollars.

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(c)

Authorization

Section 20 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 note) is amended by inserting the following new subsection after subsection (e):

(f)

Women’s business centers

There is authorized to be appropriated for purposes of grants under section 29 to women’s business centers not more than $20,000,000 in fiscal year 2010 and not more than $22,000,000 in fiscal year 2011.

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4.

Performance and planning

(a)

In general

Section 29(h)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656(h)(1)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (A);

(2)

by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (D); and

(3)

by inserting the following new subparagraphs after subparagraph (A):

(B)

establish performance measures, taking into account the demographic differences of populations served by women's business centers, which measures shall include—

(i)

outcome-based measures of the amount of job creation or economic activity generated in the local community as a result of efforts made and services provided by each women’s business center, and

(ii)

service-based measures of the amount of services provided to individuals and small business concerns served by each women’s business center;

(C)

require each women’s business center to submit an annual plan for the next year that includes the center's funding sources and amounts, strategies for increasing outreach to women-owned businesses, strategies for increasing job growth in the community, strategies for increasing job placement of women in nontraditional occupations, and other content as determined by the Administrator; and

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(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 29(h)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656(h)(1)), as amended, is further amended by adding the following at the end thereof:

The Administrator's evaluation of each women’s business center as required by this subsection shall be in part based on the performance measures under subparagraphs (B) and (C). These measures and the Administrator's evaluations thereof shall be made publicly available.

.

5.

National Women’s Business Council

The Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988 is amended as follows:

(1)

In section 409(a) (15 U.S.C. 7109(a)), by adding the following at the end thereof: Such studies shall include a study on the impact of the 2008–2009 financial markets crisis on women-owned businesses, and a study of the use of the Small Business Administration’s programs by women-owned businesses..

(2)

In section 410(a) (15 U.S.C. 7110(a)), by striking 2001 through 2003 and insert 2010 and 2011.

6.

Applicant evaluation criteria

Section 29(f) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 656(f)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (3) by striking and at the end;

(2)

in paragraph (4) by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

whether the applicant has the capacity to train existing or potential business owners in the fields of green technology, clean technology, or energy efficiency.

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Passed the House of Representatives November 7, 2009.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.