U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBC), made the following statement following today’s Business Meeting during which the Committee unanimously approved six bills, which would support women’s small businesses, improve small business access to broadband internet resources, revive certain loan programs to victims of Superstorm Sandy, and level the playing field for small businesses in federal contracting and innovation programs.

“Small businesses are the very core of our economy, I’m committed to common sense legislative solutions, like the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 2015, which will help to support women entrepreneurs,” said Vitter. “Supporting small businesses is not a partisan issue, which is why I’ve been successful in passing 21 bipartisan pro-small business bills out of Committee just this year. I will continue to advocate and fight for small businesses and American job creators.”

Vitter, along with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and SBC Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), introduced the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 2015 (S.2126), which reauthorizes the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program. WBCs offer valuable entrepreneurial development counseling and training to women entrepreneurs and small business owners in order to address challenges pertaining to the management, manufacturing, financing and Government contracting, technology, international trade, retail and product sales required for starting, operating and growing their small businesses.

Vitter also introduced the bipartisan Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act with Sen. Shaheen, which would modernize the SBA’s approach to broadband issues, connecting businesses with financing programs and advising on broadband acquisition by small businesses.

“It’s vitally important for the government to adapt as technology constantly evolves, which is why I’m glad to work with Ranking Member Shaheen on this bipartisan legislation that will modernize SBA’s broadband outreach,” said Vitter.

In addition to the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 2015 and the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act of 2015, four other bills passed through the Committee and will make their way to the Senate floor:

• The Superstorm Sandy Relief and Disaster Loan Program Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 1811) would reopen loan opportunities under the SBA’s Disaster Loan program for Sandy-related losses and improve the program’s response times and overall effectiveness.

• The Small Business Innovative Research and Technologies Act of 2015 (S. 2136), which Chairman Vitter developed in consultation with the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office at LSU, would enhance opportunities for small innovators in Louisiana and other rural states to develop new technologies and commercialize them through the SBIR program.

• The Small Business Subcontracting Transparency Act of 2015 (S. 2138) and the Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015 (S. 2139), which resulted from consultation with firms in Louisiana experiencing challenges with the federal procurement process, would look to address small business challenges in level the playing field and ensure fair competition in government contracting.

This week’s business meeting marks the fourth the Committee has held this Congress. Vitter, as Chairman, has now passed 21 bipartisan bills and two bipartisan Committee resolutions out of the Committee in 10 months.

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