Small rocket start-ups disqualified by SBA for Wuhan flu relief loans

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

Capitalism in space: Because of its arcane rules for defining what makes a small company, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has disqualified hundreds of small rocket start-ups from relief loans being issued to help companies whose business has been suspended due to the government-imposed shut downs due to Wuhan flu.

[Space industry groups] claim that hundreds of U.S. startups have been disqualified from loan programs — created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program — because of the way the SBA defines “small business.”

Many startups are funded by venture capital firms that typically invest in a portfolio of companies. To be eligible for the SBA loan program a business has to have fewer than 500 employees. When defining a small business, the SBA applies an “affiliation rule,” requiring companies to include in their worker count all the employees of companies with which they are “affiliated.” That rule requires venture-backed startups to aggregate the employees of all the unrelated companies in which their investors have equity positions, pushing many beyond the 500-employee threshold.

According to the industry groups, 98 percent of U.S. startups have fewer than 100 employees.

In other words, the SBA counts the employees of the venture capital firms as part of the company, when all they are essentially are investors. The start-up itself generally has far less than 100 people employed.

What really has to happen is to shut down the government shut downs. The government has got to get out of the way, and allow freedom to function again. Sadly, I do not see that ever happening, which means that many of these companies will fail, not because they couldn’t get it done but because our fascist new government rulers killed them.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

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One comment

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “What really has to happen is to shut down the government shut downs. The government has got to get out of the way, and allow freedom to function again.

    Beyond the question of freedom, a nation cannot bail-out its way to prosperity. Prosperity only comes from productivity, not the redistribution of what little wealth is generated by the few who are productive. Redistribution of wealth implies poverty that a country cannot solve by getting the impoverished to be productive.

    These companies are part of that productivity and future prosperity.

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