I’m writing you to convey the following important information and option:
Last Thursday, May 10, Governor Perdue released her budget recommendations for next year, FY 2012-13, which starts this coming July. The Governor’s budget is available at: Governor Perdue’s 2012-13 Recommended Budget Adjustments. Page 155 of the budget includes a recommendation of $2.5 million for the One NC Small Business Program (a.k.a., NC’s SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program).
This recommendation is significant, particularly because the One NC Small Business Program has no funding in this current fiscal year. Notably, inclusion of the program in the Governor’s budget recommendations for next year is a direct result of your input. As you will recall, at the start of this year you provided to us, via an online survey, information regarding one or more grants you have received under the One NC Small Business Program. Using that information, we drafted a report evaluating the One NC Small Business Program and other activities of the Office of Science & Technology. The full 83-page report, which we provided to the NC General Assembly on March 1, is available at: Office of Science & Technology Continuation Review Report. Information pertaining specifically to the One NC Small Business Program is available on pages 29-39.
While being included in the Governor’s budget is a necessary step toward restoring funding for the One NC Small Business Program, it is not sufficient. Specifically, only the NC General Assembly has the authority to appropriate funding. And as you know, the state budget continues to be very constrained, meaning that not all worthy programs will receive funding. Accordingly, to improve the odds of the One NC Small Business Program receiving funding, you may opt to let the General Assembly know the importance of the program to your small business, North Carolina’s economy, and its citizens.
The NC General Assembly will begin its legislative session on Wednesday, May 16. The session will move very quickly. Thus, if you opt to convey to key legislators the importance of restoring funding for the One NC Small Business Program, it is recommended that you do so within the next week, preferably as soon as possible.
Doing so is easy. Initially, you need only write a brief letter your local Senator (The Senate starts the budget process this year). You can locate your Senator’s contact information at the following link — Who Represents Me? You can search by county, but if more than one Senator represents your county and you need more information regarding specifically which one represents you, you may also search by ZIP Code at the link above. When you send the letter to your senator, it may also be beneficial to send copies to the Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee. Their contact information is available at: Appropriations/Base Budget Committee.
Hard copy letters on your company’s letter head are best, but you may also e-mail your letter (on letterhead) to the Senators. The Senators would benefit from hearing why you think state support, particularly the One NC Small Business Program, is important is for small, promising, high-tech companies such as yours. They also would benefit from learning more about your company, including its location, mission, technologies, size, potential for growth, etc., as well as your appreciation for their past support of the One NC Small Business Program. As a constituent and contributor to North Carolina’s economic growth and quality of life, you play an important role in informing the General Assembly of the importance of their support for your company’s growth and development.