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Small Business Committee Approves Five Bipartisan Bills to Improve the SBA

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Washington, June 15, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Small Business Committee approved five bipartisan pieces of legislation to amend the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act.

H.R. 2763, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements Act of 2017, introduced by Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA)

H.R. 2763 will update and improve the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Specifically, it will reinforce the requirement that the SBA give a comprehensive annual report of the SBIR and STTR programs to Congress as well as hold the Department of Defense (DOD) accountable to stimulate technological innovation.

“The SBIR/STTR programs play an important role in utilizing small business technological innovation for federal research and development,” said Subcommittee Chairman Steve Knight. “The SBIR/STTR Innovation Act of 2017 was introduced to improve these programs by making them more efficient now that they have been reauthorized through fiscal year 2022.”

Passed by a vote of 19-0.

H.R. 2594, Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017, introduced by House Small Business Committee Member Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

H.R. 2594 will ensure small business federal contractors get paid sooner for change orders. Specifically, the legislation allows contractors to submit a request for equitable adjustment (REA) - or an increase in fee - to the agency. The contractor may then bill the agency for any actual change order work completed while the REA is pending. Once the agency receives the REA, it must pay 50% of the billed change order work amount in a timely manner to offset extra costs.

“For small businesses, federal contracts can lead to good jobs, but can also result in many headaches. While businesses regularly deal with change orders in the private sector, contractors and subcontractors on federal construction projects are often forced to bear a financial burden by the slow process of approval. Some federal agencies routinely delay the approval process until the end of the project. That isn’t fair. The Small Business Payment for Performance Act stands up for small businesses by requiring federal agencies to make interim partial payments to contractors, allowing them to pay their own bills without being delayed until the end of the project. It’s common sense,” said Fitzpatrick.

Pass by a vote of 21-0

H.R. 2333, Small Business Investment Opportunity Act of 2017, introduced by Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA)

H.R. 2333 will increase the amount of leverage made available to small business investment companies (SBICs).

“Access to capital can be a serious barrier to growth for small businesses, and the SBIC program is an excellent way of making those funds available. This bill would expand the amount of capital available to the entrepreneurs in our community to help them grow their operations and hire more of our neighbors,” said Subcommittee Chairman Knight.

Passed by a vote of 21-0.

H.R. 2364, Investing in Main Street Act of 2017, introduced by Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Ranking Member Judy Chu (D-CA)

H.R. 2364 will increase the amount that financial institutions may invest in small business investment companies (SBICs).

“I’m so pleased that both Democrats and Republicans on our committee could come together today to help advance this important bill that will increase investment in our small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but I know, from talking to entrepreneurs in my district and around the country, that one of the greatest challenges to success is access to capital. That is what this bill will address, by letting banks or federal savings associations invest up to 15% of their holdings into SBICs. I hope this bill is brought to the floor soon so that more entrepreneurs will be able to access the capital they need to grow their business and hire more workers,” said Chu.

Passed by a vote of 21-0.

H.R. 2056, Microloan Modernization Act of 2017, introduced by House Small Business Committee member Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)

H.R 2056 will ensure the Microloan Modernization program is running efficiently and appropriately for small businesses.  Specifically, it will raise the microloan lending limit from $5 million to $6 million and provide flexibility to the 25/75 rule which restricts the amount of pre-loan technical assistance a microloan intermediary can offer to their small business.

“I’m proud of the bipartisan progress we are making together to help small businesses grow, including those in central Florida. My microloans bill will help more entrepreneurs and small businesses get the capital they need to start and grow, especially women and minorities. We’re also advancing legislation to help more small businesses more quickly and easily move their technologies to the commercialization stage. Finally, we are making substantive, commonsense reforms to the federal contracting process to ensure small construction contractors are paid in a fair and timely manner. As Ranking Member of the Contracting & Workforce Subcommittee, I’ll keep working in a bipartisan way to support our small businesses, create jobs, and strengthen our economy for all,” said Murphy.

Passed by a vote of 19-0.

"Small businesses play a critical role in our economy, providing almost 50% of our nation’s jobs. As Chairman for the Small Business Committee the last three years I’ve seen the SBA provide greats services to our nation’s small businesses although a few programs could be improved to provide even greater help to small firms. When we improve these programs, we are stimulating the economy by providing our nation’s job creators – small businesses – even great access to the tools and resources they need most,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

You can view the full video of today’s markup HERE and read the full materials from today’s markup HERE.

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