As most of you know the enhancements made to the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program that were included in the economic stimulus package such as increasing the contract size guaranteed by the SBA up to $5 million are set to expire on September 30. For those of you who attended this year’s NASBP Legislative Fly-in, this was one of the key issues NASBP asked their members to address during their Congressional Hill visits.
The Congress is currently on summer recess but that has not prevented NASBP from meeting with Congressional staff to educate them about the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program and to make them aware of the impact these enhancements have had on small businesses. According to the March 2010 SBA Performance Report, more than $360 million in surety bonds were issued, and the SBA Office of Surety Guarantees reports that there have been no defaults on any bonds issued in the above $2 million range since the higher limits were implemented. Earlier this spring SBA proposed a rule to guarantee surety bonds related to major disaster areas for contracts up to $5 million.
Just prior to the Senate adjourning for the summer recess, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) attempted to offer an amendment to a small business jobs bill that would make those enhancements permanent. That bill failed to get the necessary votes to invoke cloture, but it is likely that another small business bill will be debated once the Senate reconvenes after the summer recess. NASBP may need grassroots support for Senator Cardin’s amendment and will request NASBP members to send letters to targeted Senators requesting they support the Cardin amendment. If so, NASBP will provide sample letters and contact information. Stay tuned for more!!