Thursday, October 29, 2009

Broadband Oversight Hearings Highlight Burdensome Grant Paperwork

House Small Business Chair Nydia Velazquez gave Commerce Department and Agriculture Department officials an earful Wednesday over the complexity of the 200 page long grant application for businesses seeking to extend broadband coverage into communities needing the most help. The grant process has fallen nearly a month behind schedule, and Velazquez complained that the application paperwork discouraged otherwise viable applicants from getting grants and loans to extend service to folks needing help the most. “More often than not, small businesses can’t afford in house lawyers, accountants, or support staff,” she pointed out in asking the bureaucrats to find a more streamlined grant process.

Small Business ranking member Sam Graves echoed her concerns. “As the first round of broadband funding concludes,” he remarked, “it is imperative that government make changes.”
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