Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee passed four bipartisan bills to modernize SBA lending, improve small business exporting opportunities, and expand federal small business initiatives in U.S. territories.
“Today, our Committee came together to pass four bipartisan bills that will bring new opportunities to current and aspiring entrepreneurs by making it easier for small businesses to get a microloan and export their products,” said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “Importantly, the Committee also took action to bring fairness to our fellow citizens in the Northern Mariana Islands by expanding key SBA resources to the territory.”
This bill makes it easier for lenders to provide affordable microloans and technical assistance to entrepreneurs. It takes steps to lower interest rates, extend repayment terms, and eliminate the 1/55 rule.
This bill offers additional technical assistance to microlenders in rural areas. It also increases the transparency of the microloan program by requiring SBA to report key metrics including average interest, fee, and default rates.
This bill reauthorizes SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) pilot grant initiative through 2024 and makes several improvements to the program, including standardizing the application process and increasing grant spending flexibility.
This bill expands the Small Businesses Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Lead Center grant program and the Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership grant program to the Northern Mariana Islands, the only U.S. jurisdiction not currently covered by these SBA programs.