Robert Jay Dilger Senior Specialist in American National
Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided “technical and managerial
aides to smallbusiness concerns, by advising and counseling on matters in
connection with government procurement and on policies, principles and practices
of good management” since it began operations in 1953. Initially, the SBA
provided its own small business management and technical assistance
training programs. Over time, the SBA has relied increasingly on third parties
to provide that training.
The SBA’s management and technical assistance training programs have been
appropriated a projected $165.9 million for FY2013. These programs fund
about “14,000 resource partners,” including more than 900 small business
development centers, 101 women’s business centers, and 368 chapters of the
mentoring program, SCORE. The SBA reports that more than 1 million aspiring
entrepreneurs and small business owners receive training from an SBA-supported resource
partner each year. The SBA argues that these programs contribute “to the
long-term success of these businesses and their ability to grow and create
The Department of Commerce also provides management and technical assistance
training for small businesses. For example, its Minority Business
Development Agency provides training to minority business owners to assist
them in obtaining contracts and financial awards.
A recurring theme at congressional hearings concerning the SBA’s management and
technical assistance training programs has been the perceived need to
improve program efficiency by eliminating duplication of services and/or
increasing cooperation and coordination both within and among SCORE, women’s
business centers (WBCs), and small business development centers (SBDCs).
For example, the House Committee on Small Business has argued that the SBA’s various
management and technical assistance training programs should be “folded into
the mission of the SBDC program or their responsibilities should be taken
over by other agencies” because they “overlap each other and duplicate the
educational services provided by other agencies.” Congress has also
explored ways to improve the SBA’s measurement of the programs’ effectiveness
and to address the impact of national economic conditions on WBC and SBDC finances
and their capacity to maintain client service levels and meet federal matching requirements.
This report examines the historical development of federal small business
management and technical assistance training programs; describes their
current structures, operations, and budgets; and assesses their
administration and oversight, the measures used to determine their effectiveness,
and WBC and SBDC finances and their capacity to maintain client service levels and
meet federal matching requirements.
This report also discusses P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010,
which provided SBDCs $50 million in additional funds; waived the
non-federal matching requirement for these funds; and authorized the SBA
to temporarily waive, in whole or in part, for successive fiscal years,
the non-federal share matching requirement relating to “technical assistance
and counseling” for WBCs. It also discusses several bills introduced
during the 111th and 112th Congresses that would have authorized
changes to the SBA’s management and technical assistance training programs
in an effort to improve their performance and oversight, including S. 3442,
the SUCCESS Act of 2012, and S. 3572, the Restoring Tax and Regulatory
Certainty to Small Businesses Act of 2012.
Date of Report: February 27, 2013
Number of Pages: 35 Order Number: R41352 Price: $29.95
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