Yesterday the Small Business Administration raised the threshold levels for SBIR awards. The level for Phase 1 awards has increased to $150,000 where the threshold for Phase 2 awards has increased to $1,000,000. The levels for STTR's were not altered at this time but could also end up being revised. This is good news on a couple of fronts. First, the increased level of award will help cover escalating costs due to inflationary pressures and possibly also help fuel more complete development. More importantly, this is a message to congress that the SBA is highly involved in determining the guidelines of the program. It will help resolve one of the major differences between the House version of the SBIR re-authorization bill and the Senate version. Now we go back to congress where the SBIR re-authorization bills are faced with the April 30 deadline. I'm hopeful that the action by the SBA would help the two sides of congress come to agreement to complete this bill and present it to the President. Will it happen in the next 30 days? Hopefully yes but realistically probably not. Meanwhile small business should continue to pursue the SBIR/STTR programs with earnest. I think the program is too valuable from a jobs standpoint alone to have it disappear.
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