New Senate Bill May Help Small Businesses with AI Training


A new Senate bill may make it easier for small businesses to make use of AI. The bipartisan bill would direct the Department of Commerce to partner with the Small Business Administration to create and distribute AI training resources to small businesses.

The legislation, which is known as the Small Business AI Training and Toolkit Act of 2024, was introduced on June 12. And it would provide resources to help small businesses make use of AI for a huge variety of purposes, from financial management to marketing.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who is one of the Senators to sponsor the bill, said in a statement, “Small businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy, making up 99 percent of all businesses. They drive economic growth and innovation. It is essential that all American entrepreneurs – especially our small businesses – have access to AI training and reskilling in the 21st-century marketplace. This bill gives small businesses a boost with new tools to thrive as we step into this innovative era.”

AI technology has made huge strides in recent years. And it’s clear that businesses that don’t utilize or at least understand the implications are likely to be left behind. Since the technology is so new and constantly evolving, there aren’t a ton of comprehensive resources available to help small businesses learn more about it.

The new training resources from the DoC and SBA could provide incredibly valuable insights that help small businesses compete. However, this bill is still in its early stages, and AI is already helping businesses of all sizes grow. If or when it passes, it will still likely be some time before training programs are made available.

So small businesses that want to learn more about integrating AI into their operations don’t have to wait. There may not be training programs of this scale available. But you may be able to find guides that are specific to your industry or intended purpose. And simply trying out some AI tools and learning about them through trial and error can often help small businesses gain at least a basic understanding of the options.

Image: Envato

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.