The Small Business Economic Improvement Act of 2011
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the “Small Business Economic Improvement Act of 2011”
SECTION 2. AMENDMENTS TO SMALL BUSINESS ACT.
(a) In General – Section 4 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 633) is amended by adding at the end the following:
(1) IN GENERAL- The Administrator may, for purposes of this Act, the Small Business Investment Act of 1954, and title IV of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, solicit, accept, hold, administer, utilize, and dispose of gifts, devises, and bequests of cash, property (including tangible, intangible, real and personal), subsistence, and services. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may utilize gifts, devises, or bequests for educational, marketing, and outreach activities, including the cost of promotional materials.
(2) AUDITS- Any gift, devise, or bequest of cash accepted by the Administrator shall be held in a separate account and shall be subject to semi-annual audits by the Inspector General of the Administration who shall report his findings to Congress.
(3) CONFLICTS OF INTEREST- No gift, devise, or bequest shall be solicited or accepted under the authority of this subsection if such solicitation or acceptance would, in the determination of the General Counsel, create a conflict of interest.
(4) ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICES AND FACILITIES FOR DISASTER LOAN PROGRAM- The Administrator may accept the services and facilities of Federal, State, and local agencies and groups, both public and private, and utilize such gratuitous services and facilities as may, from time to time, be necessary to further the objective of section 7(b).
(h) Co-Sponsorship of Events-
(1) AUTHORIZATION- The Administrator, after consultation with the General Counsel, may provide assistance for the benefit of small business through Administration-sponsored activities, through cosponsored activities with any eligible entity, or through such other activities that the Administrator determines to be appropriate, including recognition events.
(2) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘eligible entity’ means any for-profit or not-for-profit entity, and Federal, State, or local government official, or any Federal, State, or local government entity.
(3) PROHIBITION ON ENDORSEMENTS- The Administrator shall ensure that the Administration and any eligible entities that cosponsor activities receive appropriate recognition for such cosponsorship, and that such recognition does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the Administration of any product or service of such entity.
(4) AUTHORITY TO CHARGE FEES- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may charge a participant in any activity sponsored or cosponsored by the Administration a minimal fee, and retain and use such fee to cover the costs of such activity.
(5) LIMITED DELEGATION- The Administrator may not delegate the authority described in this subsection except to the Deputy Administrator, an Associate Administrator, or an Assistant Administrator.
(6) REPORT TO CONGRESS- The Inspector General of the Administration shall report annually to Congress on the Administrator’s use of authority under this subsection.
(7) RULEMAKING- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall promulgate regulations to carry out the provisions of this subsection.
(b) Conforming Amendments- Section 8 (b)(1)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637 (b)(1)(A)) is amended—
(1) by striking clause (ii);
(2) by striking ‘(1)(A) to provide- -‘ and all that follows through ‘business concerns- -‘ and inserting the following:
‘(1)(A) to provide technical, managerial, and informational aids to small business concerns- -‘;
(3) by redesignating subclauses (I) though (IV) as clauses (i) through (iv), respectively;
(4) by redesignating items (aa) and (bb) of clause (ii), as so redesignated by paragraph (3), as subclauses (I) and (II), respectively; and
(5) by striking ‘; and’ at the end of clause (iv), as so redesignated by paragraph (3), and inserting a period.
SECTION 3. NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY.
(a) IN GENERAL: Not later than June 30 2013 the President shall convene a National Small Business Summit to examine the present conditions and future needs of the community of small business concerns in the United States.
(b) PURPOSE FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT: The Purpose of the Small Business Summit shall be:
(1) to increase awareness of the contribution of small business to the national economy;
(2) to identify and prioritize the economic, regulatory, and societal problems impacting small businesses and their ability to survive and grow in today’s challenging economy;
(3) to examine the status of minorities and women as small business owners;
(4) to assemble small business representatives to develop practical and specific recommendations for legislative and regulatory actions to maintain and encourage the economic viability of small business;
(5) to promote and evaluate the small business assistance programs of the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies and recommend potential improvements for those programs.
(c) SUMMIT ADVISORY COUNCIL: There is established a Small Business Summit Advisory Council to advise the Small Business Administration on the organization and conducting of the Summit. The Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall appoint 2 members; and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate and House Small Business Committees shall each appoint 2 members of the Summit Advisory Council to serve a term until 3 months after the conclusion of the Summit. The SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy, or their designate shall serve as a member of the Council and provide coordination and support for its activity. Council members should be selected to represent a diversity of small business leadership experience. Council members shall serve without compensation, but shall receive normal federal reimbursement for travel and per-diem expenses related to Advisory Council meetings.
(d) PARTICIPANTS: The Summit participants shall consist of owners and officers of small businesses and representatives of small business assistance groups. At least 90 days prior to the beginning of the summit, the President shall appoint 2 representatives from each State; each member of Congress shall appoint 2 representatives from their district; the Governor of each State shall appoint 2 representatives. The remaining representatives shall be selected based on applications made to the SBA Office of Advocacy, with 2 representatives and 1 alternate to be selected for each House of Representatives District. Alternate representatives shall participate in pre-summit activity and issues development, but shall not vote at the Summit unless replacing a regular delegate. Where there are insufficient applications from a specific Congressional District, the remaining positions may be filled by applicants from other Congressional Districts within that state. Each State and US Territory shall be entitled to a minimum of 10 representatives, including alternates.
The SBA Office of Advocacy, in coordination with the Summit Advisory Council, shall select representatives from qualified applicants to create a reasonable mix of small business representatives by business size, industry sector, individual demographics, and areas of issue interest or knowledge.
(e) ROLE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINSTRATION: The Small Business Administration shall:
(1) Make all necessary arrangements for the conduct of the Summit in the Washington DC area. In conducting the Summit SBA may contract for professional conference management and support services; may seek sponsorship contributions for Summit events to reduce the attendance cost for delegates, and may partner with existing small business organizations to promote the Summit.
(2) Select and establish an electronic communication system for the use of delegates and alternates for communication prior to, during, and after the Summit to allow state delegations and issue area groups to collaboratively define the problems faced by small businesses, refine suggested solutions to those problems, and prioritize and select final recommendations to the President and the Congress.
(3) Not later than 90 days after the conclusion of the Summit convened under subsection (a), the Small Business Administration shall issue a report on the results and recommendations of the Summit. The report shall identify the key challenges and prioritized recommendations of the delegates for promoting entrepreneurship and the growth of small business concerns.
(f) EXPENSES: The cost of SBA staff activity related to the Summit, the standard federal expense reimbursement for the Summit Advisory Council members, and the costs of electronic and physical publishing of the Summit recommendations and their continuing status shall be taken from appropriations to the Small Business Administration. All other expenditures for the conduct of the Summit shall be paid from private sponsorships and participant registration fees.