NSBA Applauds Passage of SBIR Compromise

December 16, 2011


Molly Brogan




Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association applauds Congress for passing a long-term reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. One of NSBA’s top ten priorities for the 112th Congress, passage of this compromise, although not perfect, ends a years-long quagmire over efforts to dramatically reshape the SBIR program and will infuse a much-needed level of stability for both the federal government and small-business participants.

“Passage of this compromise language is a testament to the good that can—and occasionally does—happen in Congress,” stated Larry Nannis, CPA, NSBA chair and shareholder at Katz, Nannis + Solomon, P.C. “Thanks to the diligence and perseverance of a handful of lawmakers and their staffs, the small-business community stands a little taller today.”

NSBA applauds the tireless leadership of Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and their staff, along with Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Carl Levin (D- Mich.) and Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.). On the House side, NSBA thanks Reps. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) and Peter Welch (D-Conn.) for their efforts.

Passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the SBIR/STTR compromise will: reauthorize the programs for six years; increase award sizes for SBIR; increase the total percentage of federal R&D dollars allocated to the SBIR program from 2.5 percent to 3.2 percent and the STTR program from .3 percent to .45 percent; and allow firms with majority venture capital backing to compete for up to 25 percent of SBIR funds at the National Institute of Health, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, and 15 percent for the other participating federal agencies.

“The SBIR program is one of the most successful small-business programs out there,” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “Today, Congress—under the leadership of some key proponents—has righted a wrong that has bogged down this program for years.”

Since 1937, NSBA has advocated on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. A staunchly nonpartisan organization, NSBA reaches more than 150,000 small businesses nationwide and is proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.nsba.biz.