On Tuesday, the U.S. House passed without opposition a proposal from U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., 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" back in October with Murphy as a cosponsor and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., 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 and McMorris Rodgers’ bill would try to change 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.”
“Small Business Investment Companies, or SBICs, play an important role in providing access to capital for startups and other small businesses. The only problem? There are currently none here in Washington state,” said McMorrris Rodgers on Tuesday. “My bill will help change that by making it easier for them to form here in our state, invest in people in our community, grow our local economy, and create jobs. By supporting small businesses, we can help ensure that there are more jobs and opportunities here in Eastern Washington for people to live their American Dream.”
“As a former businesswoman, I know how important growth capital is to establishing a thriving small business,” said Murphy who sits on the U.S. House Small Business Committee. “I am proud to work with Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers to advance this bipartisan legislation, which will boost private sector job creation and make it possible for more small businesses across the country to access the financing needed to grow their enterprises and strengthen our economy.”
The Small Business Investor Alliance is backing 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. “With more small business investment, we can expand economic opportunity to more communities across the country.”
Rubio’s bill cleared the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. and John Kennedy, R-La., are cosponsoring Rubio’s bill.