Yesterday Governor Haley vetoed the entire state budget for the South Carolina Small Business Development Center. Please see the letter below for our reasons for asking the Legislature to override Veto # 12.
Please take this action immediately.
June 29, 2011
South Carolina General Assembly
Re: Veto 12, Small Business Development Center
Governor Haley, like Governor Sanford before her, has vetoed the entire state budget of the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC). We are asking you to vote to override Veto 12 as you and Representative Nikki Haley did last year. The reasons for your override vote have not changed since last year because the incorrect reasons for the veto are the same.
Governor’s Reason #1: This program is not central to the university’s (USC) mission.
The federal government requires that its one-to-one matching funds for the nation’s SBDCs go through an institution of higher learning. USC provides this administrative function for its partner institutions of Clemson, Winthrop, and SC State. The approximately $1.4 million federal dollars the state receives is added to the state, local government and some private funds to operate SBDC offices in Aiken, Beaufort, Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Hilton head, Myrtle Beach, Newberry, Orangeburg, Rock Hill, Spartanburg and Sumter. Every one of these offices will close if the Governor’s veto is not overridden. Local governments and private businesses will not continue to fund a program the state has abandoned.
Governor’s Reason # 2: This program duplicates services already offered by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Neither the S.C. Department of Commerce nor the SBA provides one-on-one consulting services to small business owners trying to grow their businesses or simply trying to survive in this economy. The S.C. Department of Commerce only lists three small business functions of its website: providing information on educational resources, providing information on financial resources and its small business ombudsman’s office (which refers small business owner to the SBDC). The SBA lists Small Business Development Centers as a provider of SBA’s consulting services. Therefore the SBDC is not a duplicative service of the SBA because the SBA relies on the services of the SBDC.
In her letter, Governor Haley indicates that her vetoes will help us “move forward in strengthening our economy”. Her veto 12 does the opposite. It will seriously damage our economy that depends on our small businesses.
Frank Knapp, Jr.
President & CEO
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce