SHAHEEN CONTINUES FIGHT FOR EXTENSION OF CRITICAL SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM

Long-Term Reauthorization of Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) passes Senate Small Business Committee

March 09, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today lauded the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s passage of a bill that would extend a critical small business innovation program. The bill, which would authorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the next eight years, was introduced by Shaheen and a bipartisan group of her fellow Small Business Committee members on March 4. It now heads to the floor for the full Senate’s consideration.

“I’m happy to see the effort to secure a long-term reauthorization of SBIR move forward and proud of the bipartisan fashion in which members of the Small Business Committee came together to support it,” said Shaheen. “This is a program that provides opportunities for our small businesses to innovate and grow, and helps our economy maintain its competitive edge. I hope that the Senate will pass this bill quickly so that companies in New Hampshire and across the country can continue to take advantage of it.”

SBIR allows small companies to compete for federal research and development dollars.  Despite bipartisan support, Congress has failed to pass a long-term reauthorization and the program is operating under a short-term extension, which makes it difficult for small businesses to engage in long-term planning. 

First created by legislation from New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman, SBIR was established in 1982 to increase participation of small, innovative companies in federally funded research and development. Since its creation, New Hampshire firms have received over $330 million in research grants through the SBIR program. Over the last two years, New Hampshire firms received 80 total awards totaling $26 million in grants through SBIR. Despite its size, New Hampshire is ranked 22nd in the nation for total grants awarded through the Department of Defense over the life of the program.

Earlier this year, Shaheen visited companies in Manchester, Hudson, and Somersworth to advocate for the reauthorization of SBIR. She also addressed the New England Council to speak about the importance of SBIR.

To view the text of bill S. 493, click here.

To view highlights of the bill, click here.

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