For the second time in two weeks Nydia Velazquez tried to force her will to the detriment of small business. As you will recall last week she voted no on the Small Business Jobs bill. This week she tried to incorporate an amendment into a Continuing Resolution that would allow Venture Capital people regardless of size and with majority ownership to be eligible for Small Business Innovation Research money.
For those of you not familiar with SBIR it is a very successful program that allows small businesses to receive research and development money from a number of government agencies. I believe it is about 2.5% of the agencies research and development budget that is allocated to small business.
The SBIR has had 8 continuing resolutions because Ms Velazquez has continually fought to include Venture Capital firms and has fought the Senate compromise on Venture Capital firms.
Ms Velazquez wanted to hold off the vote until after the election. This would have at least shut the program down for at least a couple of months and at worst shut the program down permanently.
Yesterday all hell broke loose as a result of a call to action by Rick Schindel. There were calls from all over the country to pass S3839 without amendments. S3839 was another continuing resolution extending the program through January 31.2011.
House members Ed Markey and Niki Tsongas sent a Dear Colleague letter out to member asking for support of s3839 unamended.
Small Business California and its Business Innovation committee contacted the Speaker and Jackie Speier asking for their support. Jackie Speier gave us that support and while I did not hear directly from the Speakers office it seems quite apparent the Speaker also supported this.
Around 7PM Lydia Velazquez under pressure from her peers and the House leadership accepted the Senate’s bill.
Small Business California wants to thank the Speaker and Jackie Speier. I also have been in contact with Niki Tsongas' office and want to thank them and Ed Markey for their support.
The next step is to get a reauthorization bill per the Senate's compromise and not have to keep doing these continuing resolution.
Small Business California is the only Association in California fighting on behalf of SBIR firms. It is ironic because California receives more SBIR money than any other state. The National Small Business Association and board members Jere Glover and Les Bowan and Larry Nannis have also fought gallantly.
I want to also thank our board member Chris White and his Business Innovation committee for their tireless efforts on this issue.
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116