The Trump administration is proposing to cut $43.2 million, or about 5 percent, of the Small Business Administration’s budget.
The new plan would eliminate $12 million worth of technical assistance grants and other programs for areas in which the administration thinks the private sector already “provides efficient mechanisms” for small-business development and growth. Among the initiatives on the cutting block are PRIME technical assistance grants, growth accelerators and regional innovation clusters.
The SBA’s $826.5 million budget would also include $45 million worth of loan guarantees to small-business owners, down from the current level of $46 million. The agency works with a number of banks and credit unions to provide funding.
“The president is committed to assisting small businesses succeed through reducing the regulatory tax burdens that can impede the development of small firms,” the Trump administration said.
Linda McMahon, the professional wrestling magnate and current head of the SBA, once called for the agency to be merged with the Commerce Department to cut costs. This year during her confirmation hearing, McMahon said she had made those remarks during her Senate run in Connecticut to make a broader point about government waste. It is important, she said, to “reduce duplicative programs” to cut costs.
That seems to be what the Trump administration is trying to do with the SBA as well. It says it plans to make a number of “responsible reductions to redundant programs.”
But for the most part, the SBA will remain focused on helping Americans to start and maintain small businesses. The administration will continue to provide more than $1 billion in disaster relief loans to businesses and property owners, and it will offer $28 million in microloan financing and technical assistance to start-ups.
In addition, the agency — which rejoined the Cabinet in 2012 — will continue to offer training and support for veterans and transitioning service members who are interested in starting small businesses.
“These programs help to fulfill the president’s commitment to support the nation’s veterans by providing business counseling, lending and contracting assistance,” the administration said.