SBIR Gateway

SBIR Insider Newsletter
SBIR Extended Through September 30, 2011
May 31, 2011



Dear SBIR Insider,

With your help and a ground swell of support S.1082, "The Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011" has passed overwhelmingly, thereby extending SBIR/STTR/CPP "as is" though September 30, 2011. The President will quickly sign this bill and there will be no lapse in the SBIR programs.

Repeat: SBIR/STTR/CPP are now extended through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2011.

Preliminary vote count:
The bill was passed 387 / 33
Republicans 224 / 11
Democrats 163 / 22

In this issue:

Velazquez Tries to Defeat SBIR Extension

Many of you refused to believe what a negative influence Nydia Velazquez (ranking member of the House Small Business Committee) has been toward SBIR and other small business programs. Here's but another example as she fought to defeat S.1082. She sent out a Dear Colleague letter asking democrats to defeat this bill so she could create a better one later. S.1082 is just a simple bill extending these programs "as is", but Velazquez would prefer to see all these programs lapse for a couple of weeks (the Senate is in recess until June 7) until she could try and get her way.

Velazquez has been an impediment to SBIR reauthorization for years and has been unwilling to hold fair hearings or compromise efforts on SBIR reauthorization during the years she was chair of the House Small Business Committee.

We'll have the full story and the roll call vote in an upcoming issue. In opposing Velazquez's efforts, kudos should go to democratic representatives Edward J. Markey, Niki Tsongas, Peter Welch, Gerald E. Connolly, Paul D. Tonko, Joe Courtney, and Mazie K. Hirono for a "Dear Colleague" letter they authored in support of the bill. We have heard that David Wu has also signed on, but it wasn't in the copy we have.

Velazquez Fails to Make International Travel Expense Reports

Today's Roll Call newspaper reports that Nydia Velazquez failed to report her international travel reports (for thousands of dollars) in a timely manner. Reports due within 60 days of travel were recently filed for trips taken in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

What Velazquez's office calls a "simple clerical error", would trigger a major Waste Fraud & Abuse (WFA) case as defined in Velazquez's proposed WFA amendment in her SBIR legislation. Sure, clerical errors happen, but if it were a small SBIR business, she would "most likely" be the first to say "you're guilty" or "greedy". Honest mistakes can happen to any of us, but investigation should be no less stringent for her than what she wants to put on you.

Could Nydia's "International Travel" have anything to do with her push to allow outside investors to have majority ownership of an SBIR business, without regard to the nationality of the investment organization? Oh yes, Nydia was severely critical of the SBA's 2003 ruling that Cognetix could not participate in SBIR because they were majority owned by VCs (AIG of Switzerland, and another Canadian company). The ownership language in the House SBIR bill would make it extremely difficult to determine the origin of the ownership funds for the SBIR business. If anyone tells you that the ownership structure of an entity is not significant in the SBIR program, they are missing the point of small business programs, not to mention the sensitivity of participation in DoD or DHS programs.

Velazquez frequently states that her committee needs to do more oversight of the SBIR program. My question is "Who is doing the oversight of her committee?"

Special Hotel Room Rates Extended for 13th Annual NIH Conference

The 13th Annual NIH Small Business Innovation Research & Small Business Technology Transfer is fast approaching (June 22-23). This 2-day conference will be held at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD.

Several hotels in the area have extended their hotel room rates. Reserve by June 10 for the Bethesda Marriott Hotel and June 21 for the Bethesda Court Hotel.

Complete details at the NIH conference web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/SBIRConf2011

Closing Thoughts

Although we can celebrate this victory, don't get too comfortable because there are plenty of house republicans that will follow Graves and Velazquez in their quest to give a great portion of SBIR to big business and Wall street investment firms. That battle will be fought in the upcoming months.

The current house SBIR reauthorization bill, H.R. 1425, is considered by many as a very bad bill that will never make it in the Senate. However, Graves does make gestures that imply a willingness to negotiate a comprise, something that Velazquez only used as a Venus Fly Trap.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and support.

Sincerely,

Rick

Rick Shindell
SBIR Gateway
Zyn Systems
40 Alderwood Dr.
Sequim, WA 98382
360-681-4123
rick@zyn.com
www.zyn.com/sbir

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