WASHINGTON-The House budget package passed May 18 contains provisions for the Small Business Administration to cut some of its programs and increase fees on the loans it guarantees for small businesses. As passed by the House Budget Committee a week before the full House voted, the budget bill calls for $340 million in SBA funding cuts for fiscal year 1996. This is $56 million more than President Clinton recommended last March when the administration made its own plans to streamline the SBA.
The House budget bill also eliminates the $78 million annual funding for SBA Small Business Development Centers, which provide free counseling to new businesses. Funding for these centers could come from user fees or private donations, sponsors said.
SBA programs still have not touched the lives of many small-business owners in the tire or auto repair industry, some sources say.
``There's a perception in the field that a lot of SBA programs are window-dressing,'' said Roy E. Littlefield III, government relations director for the American Retreaders Association. ``I wonder if the average small-business owner ever has contact with the SBA.''