Chair Jeanne Shaheen
As a former small business owner, Chair Shaheen knows that small businesses drive New Hampshire’s and the nation’s economy. As Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Chair Shaheen puts the needs of small businesses, their workers and their customers first. Granite State entrepreneurs and business owners can rely on her to enact common sense small business policies that help grow the economy and create jobs.
Chair Shaheen previously served as Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee from 2015-18. She led legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research program, which ensures New Hampshire small businesses stay on the cutting edge of new technology by using federal research and development investments.
In 2020, Chair Shaheen provided small businesses with the resources they needed to weather and recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19, leading negotiations on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, both of which were lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the country. Chair Shaheen helped deliver more than $900 billion during the pandemic to help keep small businesses afloat and workers employed. She prioritizes small businesses’ access to credit and markets. Chair Shaheen introduced the 504 Loan Availability Act to eliminate the annual disruptions in Small Business Administration (SBA) CDC/504 loan availability at the end of each fiscal year. This bill ensures that small business owners have a reliable source of affordable financing year-round, allowing entrepreneurs to invest in themselves and grow.
Chair Shaheen led the first trade missions outside of North America as New Hampshire’s Governor. She created the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) here in Congress. Reauthorized in 2016, STEP successfully boosted exports from American small businesses, helping them enter the international marketplace and create American jobs. Since its creation, the STEP program has awarded $235.5 million in grants and directly supported over 13,000 small businesses. In 2022, every $1 in STEP funding yielded $43 in U.S. export sales.
As Chair of the Appropriations subcommittee funding the Commerce Department, Chair Shaheen championed key legislation, like the CHIPS and Science Act, to support American manufacturers. Through the Commerce Department and the State Trade Expansion Program, she consistently delivers for New Hampshire and small businesses across the country.
Senator Shaheen’s small business priorities include helping more small businesses access capital through increased SBA lending; addressing workforce development challenges so workers have the right skills and training; and expanding federal contracting opportunities for small businesses, including for rural small business owners.