The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a report on Friday that highlights examples of small businesses throughout the clean, renewable energy and environmental management sectors that have received funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was enacted in February 2009.
The report pointed out that as of early March 2010, small businesses have been selected to receive nearly $5.4 billion in funding across a number of ARRA-related programs, including loans, loan guarantees, grants, contracts and tax incentives, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The report highlights 26 small businesses in a range of clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar, and biofuels, along with critical new infrastructure, like the smart grid, advanced batteries, energy storage, and energy efficiency tools. It also notes small businesses that are helping advance responsible environmental clean-up efforts.
On Thursday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Small Business Administrator (SBA) Karen Mills highlighted the report as part of a media conference call. "Small businesses are the backbone of job creation in this country and have been a springboard for innovation in the clean energy sector," said Chu. "The work these companies do and the innovation they produce will go a long way in helping our economy grow and our nation succeed."
"Small businesses have created about 64% of the new jobs over the past 15 years," said Mills. "Already, small businesses are one of the driving forces in the green energy sector. With resources like those provided through the Department of Energy and SBA, we have a unique opportunity to support the creation of good, well-paying jobs here at home that will also help keep America competitive."
One example of the success stories featured in the report is the profile related to FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp., which is a fledgling start-up that won an MIT clean energy competition last year. The company is developing a new high-efficiency shrouded wind turbine capable of delivering significantly more energy per unit of swept area. FloDesign Wind’s $8.3 million ARPA-E grant represents a major increase in resources for the company that will have a dramatic effect on its ability to ramp up technology development.
The SBA notes that ARRA provides it with specific tools to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses to get loans, gives lenders new incentives to make more small business loans, and helps unfreeze the secondary markets to boost liquidity in the credit markets. The bill provides $730 million to the SBA and makes changes to the agency’s lending and investment programs so that they can reach more small businesses that need help.
Sources: DOE, SBA