Chairwoman Velázquez Statement on Passage of Build Back Better Act
Washington, November 19, 2021
Washington, D.C.— Today, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement after the House voted to pass the Build Back Better Act:
“Today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act is historic for the American people and American small businesses. Since the 117th Congress began, House Democrats have been working to deliver transformational investments in American families and workers. With the passage of this bill, we are making good on this promise.
“The Build Back Better Act makes a $5 billion generational investment in small firms. The small business provisions in the bill will pave the way for recovery in the short term and provide solutions to the perennial challenges facing small businesses.
“The pandemic has exacerbated longstanding inequities in the small business sector. This legislation seeks to address that by filling gaps in the lending market and creating more opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs. The bill invests nearly $2 billion for SBA to make direct loans of less than $150,000 and targeted loans of $1 million to government contractors and small manufacturers. To deliver more funding to high-growth small businesses, the bill also invests more than $60 million to enhance the Small Business Investment Company Program, which provides venture capital funding to small firms. The Build Back Better Act also invests $100 million in a pilot lending program at SBA to provide capital to cooperatives and other employee-owned entities that play a large part in our communities.
“The bill also includes many provisions to help underrepresented entrepreneurs. A major provision dedicates $1 Billion to establishing a national network of Uplift incubators to spur economic development in underrepresented communities. Additionally, my committee fought to include nearly $200 million in investments to expand the Growth Accelerator Competition Fund to enable gifted entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the market and accelerate their growth. The Build Back Better Act also seeks to provide a second chance to the formerly incarcerated by investing $105 million in a program that offers a path to entrepreneurship.
“Overall, this bill is a meaningful win for American entrepreneurs and showcases House Democrats’ commitment to rebuilding small businesses back better than ever in the wake of COVID. Small firms are the engine of our economy. When they are successful, our country is successful. This historic piece of legislation reflects this reality and provides American small businesses with the resources they need to thrive in the 21st century.”