SBA Announces Changes to R&D Program Rules

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has changed business size and eligibility rules for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) financing programs, according to the final rule.
     The amendments restrict foreign ownership of recipient businesses. Awardees will qualify to receive funds if they are more than 50 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens or other business concerns, once the rule takes effect at the end of January 2013.
     Another change allows a business receiving funds to be owned by multiple venture capital operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms, but the regulation still retains safeguards that ensure awardees are domestically controlled, the rule noted.
     The amendments also affect company size standards and affiliation of awardees with other businesses. "Affiliation is an important issue when determining size because SBA counts the receipts, employees, or other measure of the business, and includes those of all its domestic and foreign affiliates, regardless of whether the affiliates are organized for profit," the agency said.
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