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April 24, 2008

Thank you for calling attention to small businesses.  Recently, we contacted you regarding H.R. 5819, and its potential harmful impacts on small businesses.  Last night H.R. 5819, passed through the House of Representatives with 368 - 43 vote.  As this bill moves to the Senate, we are further encouraging you to take action.

Our concern is that, Title II of H.R. 5819 changes the definition of a small business from the current definition of "independently owned" to include businesses owned up to 49.9 percent by a single venture capital firm or up to nearly 100 percent if owned by multiple venture capital firms, so long as no single firm owns more than 49.9 percent. Additionally, as amended the bill will allow large venture capital firms (meaning more than 500 employees) to own up to 20 percent of a small business and still maintain small business status.  This change is an increase of 10 percent over the previous standard. Title II of the act amends Sec. 9 (e) of the Small Business Act, which is specific to the SBIR program. While this legislation limits venture capital participation in a small business concern to the SBIR program, H.R. 5819 creates a dangerous precedent that could lead to venture capital participation in other small business programs.

We ask you and your members to contact your Senators to let them know that you oppose amending the definition of a small business as "independently owned" in the Small Business Act.

Finally, we are interested in obtaining an official statement from your chamber opposing H.R 5819. For your convenience, I have included: a description of our concerns, a link to a sample template letter, a link to the congressional contact portal, a copy of H.R. 5819, and a letter template that you can personally use to contact your representative.

Thank you

 
Contact Information:

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H.R. 5819:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-5819

Chamber Endorsement Letter Template:
http://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=1030

Congressional Contact Portal:
https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

Senate Contact Portal:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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Please encourage your members to use this template to contact their Congressional Representative(s):
 
Dear _______,

I would like to express my concern regarding H.R. 5819, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act, and its potential to impact small businesses across the United States. I oppose amending the definition of a small business as "independently owned" in the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 10 638(e)) to include firms owned up to 49.9 percent by a single venture capital firm or up to nearly 100 percent if owned by multiple venture capital firms, so long as no single firm owns more than 49.9 percent. Additionally, I oppose allowing large venture capital firms (meaning more than 500 employees) to own up to 20 percent of a small business and still maintain small business status.  By amending the definition of a small business to include venture capital firms, this legislation could create a slippery slope upon which other small business programs could experience profound negative effects.

I strongly urge you to take action against Title II of H.R. 5819 and preserve the definition of a small business in the Small Business Act as "independently owned" and operated.

Thank you,

Name
Date

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Please use this template to issue a statement in opposition to H.R. 5819 from your chamber:

Dear Senator/Representative:
 
On behalf of the __________ Chamber of Commerce and our _______ members, I would like to thank you for calling attention to federal small business contracting.
 
H.R 5819, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act, was recently introduced by the House Committee on Small Business and will allow venture capital firms to receive billions of dollars in federal small business contracts. We are concerned that Title II of H.R. 5819 changes the definition of a small business from the current definition of "independently owned," to include businesses owned up to 49.9 percent by a single venture capital firm and up to nearly 100 percent by multiple venture capital firms, so long as no single firm owns more than 49.9 percent. Title II of the act amends Sec. 9 (e) of the Small Business Act, which is specific to the SBIR program. While this legislation limits venture capital participation in a small business concern to the SBIR program, H.R. 5819 creates a dangerous precedent that will lead to large and venture capital firm's participation in other small business programs.
 
As passed though the House of Representatives, H.R. 5819 will force legitimate small businesses to compete head-to-head against firms controlled by billionaire venture capitalists for even the smallest government orders for goods and services. I am joining with the American Small Business League in opposition to amending the definition of a small business from "independently owned" to include firms owned up to 49.9 percent by a single venture capital firm and up to nearly 100 percent by multiple venture capital firms.
 
I believe it is time for Congress to take action and ensure that federal small business contracts and subcontracts go to legitimate American small businesses. We appreciate your help and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Name:                                                     Date:



 
 

 
 

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email to khilmoe@asbl.com

 

 

     

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