- House of Representatives passes six bills that originated in the chamber’s Small Business Committee
- Measures aim to improve SBA lending practices and strengthen small business cybersecurity protections
- One bill authorizes a five-year “Boots to Business” veteran entrepreneurship training program
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
The House of Representatives has passed six measures designed to improve the U.S. Small Business Administration’s lending programs and bolster cybersecurity protections at small businesses.
The bills passed by wide measures, with only a handful of congressmen in opposition to five of them. One piece of legislation, the SBA Cyber Awareness Act, passed unanimously.
“As small businesses continue to build back better in the wake of the COVID crisis, Congress must boost support for entrepreneurs in areas crucial to everyday success,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee. “These bipartisan bills will help ensure that small businesses are well-capitalized, better protected, and adequately trained.”
- The SBA Cyber Awareness Act directs the SBA to assess its cybersecurity infrastructure and report potential threats, breaches, and cyberattacks
- Another bill addressing cybersecurity would establish a cyber counseling certification program in small business development centers to provide free training and resources to small business owners on how to strengthen their cybersecurity protections and fight cyberattacks
- Two bills address the SBA’s 7(a) loan program, requiring the agency’s Office of Credit Risk Management to establish a registration and evaluation system for 7(a) agents and to submit an annual report to Congress on the performance of and risk associated with 7(a) loans generated through loan agent activity
- One measure would amend the Small Business Act to authorize a “Boots to Business” veteran entrepreneurship training program for five years
- A final bill would increase the amount of capital and surplus a financial institution or federal savings institution may invest in a Small Business Investment Company from 5 to 15 percent, as long as the investment is approved by an appropriate federal banking agency