January 31, 2005

Crapo, Mayors, Small Business Administration & Hispanic Leaders Team Up To Increase Business Training And Jobs

Senator asks budget cutbacks be restored for SBA programs

Boise - Increasing the amount of small business training for Idahoâ??s minorities is the reason for the creation of a historic memorandum of understanding being signed next week at the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (HCCI). Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is working with the Hispanic Business Association, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Nampa Mayor Tom Dale and Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas to produce a unique agreement that will create jobs and promote the growth of minority-owned small business. The memorandum of understanding will seek to improve access to capital, increase training, and provide improved access to federal contracts.â??Small business is the backbone of our economy and with Idahoâ??s Hispanic community now 10% of our population, the new jobs and new investment that will result from this agreement will benefit all of Idaho,â?? said Crapo, a member of the Senate Small Business Committee. "We hope to greatly increase U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) services to the Hispanic community. This important and growing segment of our population has not been participating in our programs in representative numbers. We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in these programs," said SBA District Director Tom Bergdoll. John Edwards, President of the Hispanic Business Association said, "This partnership sets a precedent - I applaud the SBA's commitment to minority-owned businesses, and I pledge to work closely with the agency to ensure that the agreement is a success."The group will sign the memorandum of understanding at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18th, at the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, across from Lakeview Park in Nampa.Crapo yesterday called on SBA Administrator Hector Barreto, who visited Idaho last year, to restore some reductions being proposed for SBA. During a Senate Small Business Committee hearing Crapo said under the proposals funding for SBA â??will have been reduced by almost 25 percent since 2001, by far the greatest cut for any agency. I am all for the Presidentâ??s call to improve efficiency but I question why it appears this is the only agency receiving such a directive,â?? Crapo said. Crapo holds a hearing in Coeur dâ??Alene Monday on the same issue. # # #