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House Passes Bipartisan Bills to Increase Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Washington, October 21, 2019

Washington, D.C.— Today, the House passed four bipartisan small business bills to improve key Small Business Administration (SBA) entrepreneurial initiatives that spur business formation and job creation.

“When an entrepreneur has a great idea, be it on Main Street in a rural town or a downtown city block, SBA’s entrepreneurial development centers are there to provide guidance and support,” said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “These programs invest in small business owners and today the House came together in bipartisan fashion to pass commonsense reforms to strengthen and expand resources for entrepreneurs across the country.”

H.R. 4406, “Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2019”

Introduced by Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) and Rep. Aumua Amata Radewagen (R-AS)

This bill will modernize and strengthen the SBDC network, which is the largest of SBA’s resource partners and consists of 63 lead organizations and over 900 centers. H.R. 4406 would authorize $175 million per year in funding for the SBDC program for four years. Additionally, the bill requires SBA to submit an annual report to Congress disclosing performance metrics and operating standards of the program. It also would allow SBDCs to market and advertise, expanding the public awareness and reach of the program.

H.R. 4405, “Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act of 2019”

Introduced by Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN)

H.R. 4405 will authorize funding for the WBC program for four years at $31.5 million for each year. This bill would raise the cap on individual center grants to $300,000 and index for inflation. The bill also establishes an accreditation program, a constructive and transparent process for new center locations, and requires an annual report be submitted by the SBA to Congress to analyze the effectiveness of the program.  

H.R. 4407, “SCORE for Small Business Act of 2019”

Introduced by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) and Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN)

This legislation will increase transparency and accountability within the SCORE program by implementing safeguards that incorporate recommendations made by a 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. The bill would require SCORE to follow federal competitive award procedures and obtain prior approval by SBA for certain contracts. It would also target financial compensation by prohibiting employees and members of the Board of Directors from receiving compensation from both organizations or serving on dual boards without consent from the SBA. The bill also requires an annual performance report on the SCORE program be submitted to Congress by the SBA.

H.R. 4387, “To establish Growth Accelerator Fund Competition within the Small Business Administration, and for other purposes”

Introduced by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH)

This bill will codify the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for four years and authorize $2 million in funds per year. The bill would boost a program created in 2014 to give early-stage entrepreneurs opportunities for mentorship, financing, and education. In its fifth round of funding, the competition brings together the nation’s most innovative small businesses and startups to compete for prizes of $50,000 each.

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