On Thursday, Sept. 29 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed six bills that include numerous measures improving the capacity of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and supporting small businesses.
The bills are expected to help small businesses access broadband internet, offer cybersecurity support to small businesses, help the SBA to better respond to disasters, work to address the needs of minority-owned businesses, and more.
What are the Bills
The bills are designed to support the government instill diversity in its support for small businesses, better equip the SBA to extend support to small businesses affected by disasters, and include:
- The Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act (S. 1617) would modify the SBA’s threshold to declare disaster declarations to allow the administrator to issue a disaster declaration for rural communities.
- The Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2021 (S. 1687) would create a program to train counselors at Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to provide cybersecurity guidance to small business owners.
- The Small Business Broadband and Emerging Technology Enhancement (Act S. 3906) would equip the SBA with the leadership and resources necessary to help small businesses access broadband internet.
- The One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act (H.R. 4877) would require the SBA to maintain a website with hyperlinks to the small business compliance guides of each federal agency, as well as the relevant points of contact for the guides.
- The SBA Cyber Awareness Act (H.R. 3462) will require the SBA to assess its cybersecurity procedures; develop and report to Congress annually its cybersecurity strategy, and implement a notification system to alert Congress and all affected parties in the event of a cyber-breach.
- The SBIC Advisory Committee Act of 2022 (S. 2521) would establish an advisory committee to develop recommendations for increasing demographic and geographic diversity in SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.
“The American economy can go as far as our small businesses take us, so Congress must continue to invest in them so they can thrive in the years ahead. These bills address several critical areas of concern for American small business owners, including disaster assistance, access to broadband internet, and protection from cyber threats.”, said Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.