On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed into law a proposal from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., boosting small businesses in underrepresented states by giving them more access to capital and loans.
McMorris Rodgers, part of the House leadership as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, unveiled the “Spurring Business in Communities Act" last October with Murphy as a cosponsor and Rubio backing similar legislation over in the Senate. The supports say their proposal will allow Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) to launch in under-licensed states like Florida and Washington.
First set up under the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 with the support of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), SBICs are mostly based in only a handful of states with the vast majority of them--72 percent--in 10 states. Rubio’s, McMorris Rodgers’ and Murphy’s bill would changes that by exempting SBIC applicants in under-licensed states from full capital requirements. The bill would also make the SBA report to Congress on its efforts in underrepresented states.
“I want Florida’s entrepreneurs and investors to be able to stay and invest here in Florida’s economy, instead of being shoe-horned into Wall Street and Silicon Valley jobs away from home,” Rubio said when he unveiled it in October. “Our bill will help reduce America’s investor gap by removing regionally biased obstacles investors face when applying to become a licensed Small Business Investment Company.”
“As a former businesswoman, I know how important growth capital is to starting and sustaining a successful small business,” said Murphy, the top Democrat on the U.S. House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce. “Securing private capital remains a challenge for too many businesses. I am incredibly proud that our bipartisan legislation to support small businesses and boost private sector job creation is now law.”
This marks the 19th bill that Murphy, who is wrapping up her first term and who was named to lead the Blue Dog Caucus in the next Congress, either introduced or originally sponsored which was signed into law.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing two out of every three new jobs in America and serving as a foundation for our communities,” said McMorris Rogers. “Small Business Investment Companies serve an important function in providing capital and support to these job creators, however, there are currently none here in Washington state. My bipartisan bill, which now heads to the president’s desk to become law, will make it easier for them to form here in Eastern Washington and invest in our community and local small businesses.”
The Small Business Investor Alliance backed the bill.
“For 60 years, the Small Business Investor Alliance has championed policies that enhance domestic investment in growing small businesses,” wrote Small Business Investor Alliance President Brett Palmer in a letter backing the legislation from May. “With more small business investment, we can expand economic opportunity to more communities across the country.”