Bipartisan House Lawmakers Push Senators to Pass Golden’s SBDC Legislation, Help Small Businesses through COVID-19 Recession
WASHINGTON — As Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) report record demand for their no-cost business advising and training services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Small Business Committee called on Senate committee leaders today to pass the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act.
Reps. Pete Stauber (MN-08), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS) joined Golden to urge the Senate to Act.
The bill, introduced and passed through the House by Golden last year with a large bipartisan majority, would bring SBDC services to more small businesses by reauthorizing the program, expanding available funding for the centers, and allowing SBDCs to market and promote their services.
“Tens of thousands of small businesses across the country are in serious need of trustworthy, experienced business counseling and advice to help them adapt to an economy in recession and continue to hire workers,” said Congressman Golden. “While many government programs have fallen short in response to the coronavirus, SBDCs are an example of a program that’s working, with SBDC advisors stepping up to meet the needs of the communities they serve. In Maine alone, our SBDCs have done a year’s worth of work for our state’s small businesses in just the last three months. Today, we’re calling on our colleagues in the Senate to take action for small businesses in their states and pass this common-sense legislation to reauthorize and expand the SBDC program.”
Golden’s bill would reauthorize the SBDC program and increase the funds available for the program by $40 million to $175 million per year. The legislation also makes important changes to the SBDC program itself, including allowing SBDCs to market their services in their communities and broaden their reach to more small businesses.
Earlier this year, Golden helped secure $192 million dollars in supplemental funding for SBDCs to respond to small business needs during the coronavirus as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A version of his legislation was included in the final bill that was signed into law by the president in March.
In a virtual subcommittee meeting Golden chaired last month, SBDC leaders at the state and national levels reported significant increases in the demand for their services in response to the pandemic. Golden’s subcommittee also heard from Maine SBDC State Director Mark Delisle and Maine SBDC clients Mary Ellms and Joe Musumeci about the important assistance SBDCs provide to Maine communities.
Golden also held two tele-town halls with Delisle in May to connect small businesses with SBDC resources and hear from constituents about the challenges their small businesses were facing as Maine’s economy begins to reopen.
Read a copy of the lawmakers’ letter here.