SSTI responds to SBA’s proposed changes to Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program

SSTI has written a response to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) proposed revisions to the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, which aim to increase program participation. The proposed changes include reductions in licensing fees for first- and second-time funds, exceptions to the conflict of interest rules for follow-on financing, increasing access to credit for leveraged funds and a new “accrual debenture” option for SBICs.

SBA announces 44 FAST awardees

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced 44 FAST awards, including 12 new awards,  totaling over $5.4 million, with each up to $125,000 for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development. The goal of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program is to strengthen the competitiveness of small businesses and startups to improve Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program outcomes.

Congress advances three-year SBIR/STTR reauthorization

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to extend the SBIR, STTR and related pilot programs through Sept. 30, 2025. The House is expected to act on the legislation next week, just ahead of the current expiration at the end of this month. In addition to reauthorizing the programs, the legislation makes changes to performance standards for companies with numerous awards, foreign risk management, topic solicitations, and requires several new reports by SBA and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

SBIR at 40 – What’s Next?

During the SBIR/STTR Spring Innovation Conference, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted a keynote session titled, “SBIR at 40 – What’s Next?” Panelists, moderated by SBA’s Erick Page-Littleford, discussed the impact that the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have had over their 40 years of existence, and what the future may hold.

SBA FY 2022 FAST competition open

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program is now accepting applications for the FY 2022 competition. The FAST program provides matching funds to organizations to execute state/regional programs that increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals leading to an increase in the number of SBIR/STTR awards from women, socially/economically disadvantaged individuals, and small businesses in underrepresented areas - typically rural states. Eligible applicants must be a public entity, organization or individual that intends to use this funding to provide outreach, financial support, and/or technical and business assistance to next generation R&D-focused small businesses in order to increase SBIR/STTR proposals and awards; and, must be endorsed by the appropriate state governor or their authorized designee as the only approved applicant from that state.

President Biden’s Buy American final rule increases domestic manufacturing content requirements

This month, President Joe Biden announced the final rule of his Buy American initiative, which includes increasing the mandated U.S.-made content for federal contractors from 55 percent to 75 percent over seven years and strengthening domestic supply chains for critical goods. This final rule follows Executive Order 14005, which Biden signed during his first week in office that launched a review of existing Buy American policies and created the first Made in America Office within the Office of Management and Budget.

White House outlines new initiatives for innovation, manufacturing

To mark the anniversary of its executive order on supply chains, the White House released a fact sheet this morning outlining past and future actions to strengthen American competitiveness. The release includes several initiatives that have not been discussed widely before, including that: the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. will vote this spring on an initiative to finance exports of semiconductors, biotech and energy products; the 16 Manufacturing USA institutes will begin holding roundtables on scaling technology and promoting workforce initiatives; and, the Small Business Administration will institute a new committee of industry leaders to advise the agency on startups’ innovations and challenges, as well as host a new America’s Seed Fund (i.e. Small Business Innovation Research) Start-up Expo.

Recent Research: Did PPP actually save businesses or jobs?

A research team including members from MIT and the Federal Reserve Board assessed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to determine if the initiative was able to keep businesses from closing and people from becoming unemployed. The authors present the highlight finding, which has been covered in multiple publications, as indicating that only about 23-34 percent of PPP funds went to workers who would have lost their jobs otherwise. This rate of effectiveness implies a cost of $170,000-$257,000 per job-year[1] of employment. The outcome seems surprising, given the program’s requirement that at least 60 percent of funds be spent on payroll. A dive into the results and policy implications bears lessons for future emergency program design.

SBA Innovation Ecosystem Summit provides resources for entrepreneurs and innovators

In an effort to bring together entrepreneurship and innovation leaders from around the country and raise the collective success potential of American small businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hosted its first innovation ecosystem summit last month. In her welcome message, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman reinforced the Innovation Ecosystem Summit’s goal of reimagining the economy, leveraging the nation’s diversity, removing inequities, and building an economic future where ideas have a chance to flourish. She said she is committed to making sure "the SBA can revamp and transform its programs and offerings to ensure that we’re connecting all entrepreneurs with the investments, and the resources, and the people, the expertise, the knowledge that they need to succeed."

SBA hosting Innovation Ecosystem Summit next week

The U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting its first innovation ecosystem summit, a free virtual event that is open to all. The summit is expected to connect entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that work with startups and small businesses — particularly those serving underrepresented communities — that are trying to build out and commercialize their technologies. The three-day summit takes place next week, Nov. 15-17.


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