Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee led by Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), held a hearing examining the challenges facing the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED).
“The strength of our recovery is dependent on the well-being of small businesses,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “That’s why SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs must be well equipped to offer their services to small businesses in need. I’m committed to working with my colleagues on the committee to ensure SBA Resource Partners can thrive and help small firms recover.”
SBA currently offers a range of free or low-cost counseling and training services to entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes. SBA utilizes its Resource Partner network to deliver these services. These SBA-funded organizations include Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE. The counseling these organizations provide can be the difference between success and failure for a small business. A 2013 report from SBA found that small businesses that receive three or more hours of counseling have higher survival rates than firms that receive less counseling.
During the hearing, Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator of the OED, provided committee members with updates around his office’s top initiatives, including making critical improvements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and streamlining the forgiveness of small Paycheck Protection Program loans of $150,000 or less. Madrid also briefed lawmakers on the progress his office has made administering the Community Navigator Pilot program. According to Madrid, the $100 million grant program had received 656 proposals by its July 23rd application deadline, compared to the 200 proposals that were originally anticipated.
“This is a very difficult time for America’s small businesses. We are striving to not only meet the small business entrepreneur wherever she is on her journey, but also support her as the business grows and adapts,” said Associate Administrator Madrid. “This customer-centric approach is what commits us to reaching all entrepreneurs, especially those in rural areas, women, veterans, and underserved communities that have been hurt most by the pandemic.”