June 2022 Advocacy Update
The Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations season is moving full speed ahead this month. This week the House Committee on Appropriations met to mark up the“Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee Bill” (full recording here). The House of Representatives bill outlined $30 million dollars for the Women’s Business Center Program for the next fiscal year. On June 24, there will be a full FSGG committee markup on this legislation.
EDA Releases Two New NOFOs
EDA is currently seeking a Network Operator (an organization or coalition) to build, launch, and operate the Economic Recovery Corps program, which will embed Fellows in local economic development organizations across the country. This program will fund a Network Operator to recruit and place at least 50 Fellows (not recruited by EDA) in economic development organizations in underserved communities throughout the nation that will provide technical assistance, enabling underserved communities to better access funding and participate in economic development initiatives through preparation, training, and implementation support. Both the Network Operator and Fellows will generate and share knowledge and insights across local economies to accelerate the adoption of equitable economic development practices. A webinar about this funding opportunity will be held Thursday June 23, at 1:30 pm EDT, RSVP here and view full NOFO here. The deadline to apply is August 5, 2022.
The second NOFO released by the EDA is in search of an organization or coalition to provide technical assistance to build capacity within organizations serving underserved populations and communities to help them effectively participate in their local economic development efforts. View the full NOFO here and RSVP here for a webinar about this opportunity on Wednesday, 22 at 2pm. The deadline to apply is August 5, 2022.
USICA Slims Down
In a rush against the clock leading up to August recess, Congressional leadership has decided to narrow the scope of the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), excluding several labor and climate provisions in the current trade language. What the two sides seem to agree on however, is additional funding to enhance chip manufacturing and research security, as well as adding in provisions to bolster supply chains. USICA will continue to dominate Capitol Hill’s attention as Congress aims to get the legislation to President Biden’s desk before the Fourth of July.
Federal Reserve to Raise Increase Interest Rates
Late last night, Federal Reserve Chairman Jermone Powell announced that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by .75, the largest increase in interest rates since 1994. Chairman Powell expressed more doubt that the U.S. economy could avoid a recession as they tackle soaring inflation rates. Over the course of the next several months, interest rates could be increased by 3% or more.
SBA Launches Initiative to Combat Wealth Gap
The Small Business Administration announced a new partnership with nine historically Black fraternities and sororities to help close the wealth gap through entrepreneurship. The SBA will provide increased access to networks, financial literacy, technical training, and capital readiness for Black entrepreneurs, as well as government contracting opportunities and counseling. See the full announcement.
SBA Announced $390 Billion in EIDL Approvals
On Monday, June 13th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) highlighted the impact of the SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Through the life of the program, the SBA disbursed approximately $390 billion to nearly four million small businesses and nonprofits.
SBA Issues Final Rule on Employee-Based Size Standards
The Small Business Administration, after a period of public comment and review, has published a Final Rule to increase the period for calculating the size of a small business concern under the employee-based size standards from 12 months to 24 months. Read more about the final rule here.
SSBC Hearing on Workforce
The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on “The Small Business Workforce Challenge: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions” examining the current workforce and labor challenges facing American small businesses. The hearing examined issues including worker shortages, low retention rates, and courses of action to revitalize the workforce through small business job creation. Members and witnesses discussed various reasons for small businesses to be facing these current problems including COVID relief spending, immigration policy, and policies that inhibit small businesses them to compete for talent with larger companies. View a recording of the hearing here.
As Things Stand with the Build Back Better Act
Congress demonstrates a renewed effort to renegotiate a reconciliation package before their deadline of September 30, 2022, which marks the last chance to pass a package before going back to the drawing board on a new budget resolution for FY23 authority.
There are multiple factors working against members on striking a deal:
- The package would need support from the entire Democratic caucus in the Senate, giving moderate voices (Sen. Manchin and company) an upper hand in the negotiations
- In order to gain full approval of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, the package would need to cost a lot less than last summer’s version
- Members are still not in agreement on key provisions of the package including climate, tax, deficit reduction, and drug pricing
- Tackling and moderating rising inflation could stand in the way of passing a sweeping spending package
- External stakeholders both in favor and opposing a Build Back Better Act place pressure on lawmakers to act (or to stall) on the measure before election season
Treasury Announces Fund to Increase Access to High-Speed Broadband
The US Department of the Treasury announced the first tranche of funding awarded to Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and West Virginia to receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act for broadband access. This round of funding is expected to enable broadband access for over 200,000 homes and businesses. Read more here.
Department of Commerce Releases Travel and Tourism Strategy to Increase Job Growth
The Department of Commerce released a new Travel and Tourism Strategy fo the U.S. earlier this morning. The strategy lays out a five-year plan to attract 90 million international visitors to the U.S. each year, equaling a total of 450 million international visitors over the next five years. It is estimated that $279 billion would be spent by 90 million tourists each year, supporting job growth and recovery across the country. Read the strategy in its entirety here.
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By Ashlyn Roberts