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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she has included funding to boost economic growth throughout Washington state in the Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. The funding will go to support business growth in Washington state communities.

“Creating jobs in Washington state means investing in resources that support the development and growth of business in our own backyard,” said Senator Murray. “These investments will help boost job creation in emerging clean energy industries, help local companies increase the number of products they export, and encourage investments in start-up businesses that are the driving force of our economic recovery. I’m proud to have secured this support for our businesses and I’m committed to continue supporting investments that address the needs of Washington state communities.”

Having passed the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, the bill now goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee before being considered by the full Senate.

Sirti Foundation Growth Fund - $500,000

Spokane – The Sirti Foundation would receive funding for a proposal that combines public and private financing in the forms of debt, grant and equity with business development coaching services for emerging companies through every aspect of starting a technology company. The Sirti Foundation Growth Fund utilizes grant and revolving loan fund dollars in order to stimulate and create globally competitive clean energy technology products, services and jobs and will help create economic growth in eastern Washington.

“The previous Sirti Technology Growth Fund was designed to promote economic growth by closing the gap in funding for start-up, emerging and expanding technology-based companies in the Inland Northwest,” said Kevin Cable, President of the Sirti Foundation Board.

“With widespread challenges in the credit market, the fund has proven to be a critical source of growth capital for our area’s innovative companies. We have loaned over $3 million to ten companies, with a combined 27 patents assigned or pending, to launch their products or expand sales. Every company in the portfolio has secured strategic sales and partnership agreements. Through 2009, 23 additional technology jobs have been created and 47 technology jobs have been preserved. The economic impact has just begun to be felt for phase I, it is essential that we expand the program to include the entire State of Washington in sharing the positive economic benefits,” added Cable.

National Center for Economic Vitality - $300,000

Bellingham – Western Washington University would receive funding for the National Center for Economic Vitality that is focused on preparing and assisting start-up businesses to stabilize and grow. This funding will help support business development and job growth by attracting new investment into local communities in Washington state.

“The creation of the National Center for Economic Vitality will make a very positive difference for small business nationally, just as the program has worked successfully in Washington state for many years. This concept differs from the traditional approach of communities spending resources to attract new businesses, but rather, provides expertise to local economic development practitioners who in turn work with existing businesses to maintain and grow local jobs. This program and concept is a new economic development approach that needs national direction and leadership,” said Bruce Shepard, President, Western Washington University.

Washington BRIC Export Initiative - $200,000

Seattle/Tacoma – The International Trade Alliance would receive funding for a program that seeks to actively increase exports by Washington companies through direct exposure to the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the support services to successfully negotiate international deals. The BRIC Export Initiative proposes to leverage the region's sustainable energy and clean technology innovators, along with more traditional manufacturers and service providers to position them to be leading exporters to BRIC countries and strengthening their global competitiveness and create economic growth in Washington state and the nation.

 “If more U.S. companies chose to engage international and worked to expand their markets and marketing—rather than focusing on cost-reduction and cutting their way to profitability—the U.S. economy would likely be in much better shape,” said Mark Peters, CEO of the International Trade Alliance.