(Baltimore, Md.) — U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement after the House Small Business Committee approved the small business provisions of the Build Back Better Act—a $3.5 trillion budget that will invest $25 billion in American small businesses in the next 10 years:
“President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our nation and create jobs. I am proud that the House Small Business Committee has approved the small business provisions of the Build Back Better Budget. This budget will invest $25 billion in American small businesses in the next 10 years and give them the resources they need to participate in the rebuilding of our nation’s infrastructure. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues over the next several weeks toward final passage of the budget, as well as the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Together, these two bills meet the challenges facing our country today and will directly address the historic and pervasive barriers that prevent women, minorities, veterans, and other underserved entrepreneurs from starting and growing successful businesses.”
The pandemic has shined a bright light on the systemic inequities in capital access, government contracting, and access to mentorship and training that prevent underserved individuals from starting and growing businesses. The Build Back Better Budget will invest in American small businesses and give them the tools and resources they need to participate in the projects created by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The proposal would invest in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs that increase access to capital, foster entrepreneurial development, expand federal procurement opportunities, and drive innovation.
The following are some of the investments included in the proposal:
- $4.465 billion to fund a direct loan product under the current 7(a) lending program administered by the SBA;
- $9.5 billion to establish a subprogram within the Small Business Investment Company program to provide patient capital to underserved markets and small manufacturers;
- $2.746 billion to establish a direct lending subprogram under the 504/CDC lending program to allow CDCs to make loans to small contractors, small manufacturers, and small businesses in underrepresented markets;
- $1.75 billion in funding for an uplift accelerator program and business development academy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and community colleges for underrepresented small businesses seeking to contract with the government;
- $1 billion to establish a national network of business incubators;
- $600 million to enhance, improve, and expand the 7(a) Community Advantage program;
- $500 million to fund a pilot program for eligible cooperatives and employee-owned businesses to receive SBA loan products without the requirement of a personal or entity guarantee;
- over $100 million to invest in entrepreneurial training initiatives for the formerly incarcerated;
- $35 million for veteran federal procurement entrepreneurship training; and
- $20 million each to enhance the SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs, Office of Rural Affairs, and create an Office of Emerging Markets.
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