WASHINGTON – Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today introduced the Small Business Investment & Innovation Act of 2010. This legislation aims at expanding broadband technology, strengthening counseling and technical assistance programs, revising disaster assistance, addressing regulatory concerns, and building contracting and international trade initiatives for small businesses.

This bill comes after Senator Landrieu successfully fought for passage of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that President Barack Obama signed into law in September of this year.

“The Small Business Investment & Innovation Act reinforces our dedication to invest in Main Street businesses across America,” said Senator Landrieu. “The Small Business Jobs Act was a step in the right direction for America’s job creators, but much more needs to be done. Our small businesses need programs to help expand broadband technology in rural and underserved areas. Our entrepreneurs need help when disaster strikes the heart of their community. And without counseling and assistance, our entrepreneurs could never learn how to expand and grow successfully. This piece of legislation is the necessary, next step to put the building blocks in place for our nation’s economic recovery.”

The Small Business Investment & Innovation Act of 2010 would:

Improve Small Business Technology:

• Enhances broadband opportunities for small businesses

• Strengthens regulatory review for small businesses

• Strengthens small business research by providing grant authority to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy

Promote Counseling and Technical Assistance Programs:

• Provides additional funding for the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

• Provides grants for Women Business Centers in underserved communities

• Authorizes funding to provide technical assistance grants in Native American Communities

• Authorizes grants for technical assistance for Veterans Business Centers

Strengthen SBA Disaster Response:

• Establishes the Pioneer Business Recovery Program to provide bridge loans to businesses that reopen immediately after a disaster

• Increases SBA Disaster Loan limits

• Revises of collateral requirements so business owners are not required to use homes as business loan collateral

• Requires SBA to conduct regionally-focused outreach on predictable disasters

Expand small business Federal contracting opportunities:

• Permanently increases in Surety Bond guarantees

• Adjusts the net worth threshold for changes to inflation in the Section 8(a) program

Enrich International Trade programs at the SBA:

• Requires the SBA to conduct outreach events in each of the SBA’s 10 regions

• Requires the SBA to create an “online export readiness

• Modifies the STEP pilot program to allow municipalities to apply for grants if a state declines