The House recently passed three bills, each aimed at improving the small business economic climate. The three bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Here are the details for the three bills, which in the House had bipartisan support:
HR 400 Investing in Main Street Act
This bill aims to increase the amount that banking entities can invest in small business investment companies (SBICs). Currently, the amount is 5% of the banking entity’s capital and surplus. HR 400 would increase that amount to 15%.
HR 400 would amend the Small Business Investment act of 1958.
HR 399 The Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act
HR 399 would expand some primary duties and functions of the Small Business Administration (SBA). It would require the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy to:
- Examine the role of small businesses in the international economy.
- Represent the views and interests of small businesses in trade matters before foreign governments and international trade initiatives.
HR 499 Microloan and Accountability Act
HR 499 would establish a 5% technical assistance grant to intermediaries which make 25% of their loans to rural small businesses. HR 499 includes language that would require the SBA to report on the effectiveness of the microloan program.
The Small Business Administration would be required to analyze:
- The extent to which microloans are used in rural areas.
- The average interest rate of the microloans.
- The average fees charged for the loan.
- The average amount of the loan, and the number of loans greater than $20,000.
- The number of new and repeat program participants.
In addition, if the SBA needs to take any enforcement actions regarding the intermediaries, the SBA would be required to report on the number and type of enforcement actions that were taken, along with information about the intermediaries.
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