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NSBA and its high-tech arm, the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), recently gathered more than 500 signatures from small-business owners and various small-business organizations across the country urging Congress and the administration to call for significant changes to proposed rules governing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
The proposed rules, put forth by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), were prompted by passage of compromise reauthorizing legislation for both programs back in December 2011.
Unfortunately, SBA’s proposed rule greatly overreaches Congressional intent, and would create a huge loophole through which foreign and large corporations can divert funds away from the intended target of the program: small business. Among the most egregious problems with SBA’s proposed rule: the elimination of the restriction against foreign ownership of SBIR firms, and an easing of the affiliation rules for large firms.
Although the deadline for comments was July 16, NSBA and SBTC continue to work with SBA as they craft final rules in hopes of preventing the unintended consequence of large and/or foreign firms participating in this small-business program. Both NSBA and SBTC filed comments with SBA.
SBA has until roughly the end of the year to finalize the rule, although it is likely they will publish the final regulations before then.