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What Does Biden’s Discretionary Funding Request Do For Small Businesses?

  • President Joe Biden’s $1.52 trillion discretionary spending proposal includes a 9.4 percent increase to the U.S. Small Business Administration budget
  • Proposal would also invest in CDFIs and MDIs to assist entrepreneurs in rural and underserved communities
  • Several funding proposals support a broader effort to improve economic opportunities, including investments in education, clean energy, and scientific and technological research

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

President Joe Biden is seeking to boost the U.S. Small Business Administration’s budget by 9.4 percent as part of a request for $1.52 trillion in spending on discretionary programs. The request for the 2022 fiscal year would represent a 16 percent increase in funding for domestic programs and also sets broader economic goals such as improving educational opportunities, strengthening worker protections, and fighting climate change.

Biden’s request would fund the SBA with $852 million, up $74 million from the previous fiscal year. The funds would include:

  • An additional $31 million to increase funding for the SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs that support women, people of color, and underserved entrepreneurs to improve their access to free counseling, mentoring, and training opportunities
  • Additional SBA staffing capacity for the agency’s government contracting programs to support the Biden administration’s goal of increasing procurement from Small Disadvantaged Businesses by 15 percent by 2025
  • $30 million, an increase of $18 million from the 2021 fiscal year, to “build and strengthen innovation ecosystems” in the U.S. including Growth Accelerators, Regional Innovation Clusters, and the Federal and the State Technology Partnership Program
  • $10 million to support small businesses in becoming more resilient against severe climate events, supporting a clean energy economy, or both

The discretionary request also seeks to “address longstanding racial inequity and eliminate barriers for minority-owned firms” by providing $70 million for economic development grants and research to ensure that policies effectively support these businesses. This funding would represent a $22 million increase over FY 2021.

Another $330 million would go to community development financial institutions, a 22.2 percent boost above their FY 2021 funding level. This would build on previous efforts to support CDFIs, including $3 billion in direct funding, $9 billion in investments for CDFIs and minority depository institutions, and provisions in the American Rescue Plan encouraging CDFIs to participate in the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Other parts of the proposal intend to support broader economic goals. A set of funding requests seeking to “contribute to a stronger, more inclusive economy over the long term” includes money for schools, housing, unemployment insurance, manufacturing programs, infrastructure, research and development, and workforce training.

The Internal Revenue Service would receive more funding to support oversight of corporate and high-income returns to “ensure that the wealthy and well-connected pay what they owe.” The proposal is in line with a similar initiative included in a set of tax reforms set up by the Treasury to support Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal.

Several investments intend to create new job opportunities in clean energy and climate resilience, as well as rural economies, water infrastructure, scientific and technological research, and initiatives such as the remediation of abandoned wells and mines.

Department of Labor investments include a 17 percent increase in funds for worker protection agencies, $285 million to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities, $3.7 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act State Grants, $100 million for the department’s role in the new multi-agency POWER+ Initiative to retrain and reemploy displaced workers in Appalachian communities, and $20 million for a new program developed with the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans in shifting to careers in clean energy.

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