by / Monday, 28 December 2015 / Published in Uncategorized

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is issuing this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit comments on issues involving the Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program. SBA is evaluating the policies and procedures governing the management and oversight of the program and believes that public input could enhance its efforts to provide clear comprehensive and consistent guidance to the WBC grantees. Among other things, the ANPRM seeks public feedback on: (1) The standards and procedures for evaluating applications for new or renewal application for WBC grant; (2) procedures and requirements for resolving findings and disputes resulting from financial exams, programmatic reviews, accreditation reviews, and other SBA oversight activities; and (3) the form and function of the required WBC information clearinghouse. SBA expects this effort will remove any ambiguity and uncertainty in the program and result in improved delivery of services to the small business clients WBCs serve throughout the country.

Key Issues:
· How to define “distinct population that would otherwise not be served” and “whose services are targeted to women”

· How to define what is acceptable for activities that fall under “in-kind” and what guidelines grantees should use in determining reasonable costs associated with in-kind activities and acceptable guidelines for documenting in-kind match

· Guidelines for determining what should or should not be a “budget line item”

· What guidelines SBA should use in evaluating “the experience of the applicant” and “the proposed location of the women’s business center”

· How to define what an appropriate “minimum amount of time” would be to commence operating as a Women’s Business Center

· How to “maintain a clearinghouse to provide and dissemination between women’s business centers” and in what form the clearinghouse should exist

· How to define “full-time” for purposes of managing the center

· What factors and types of information the SBA should collect to make a determination on the applicant’s ability to fundraise

The complete notice can be found here.