U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., paired up with a top Republican on the other side of Capitol Hill on Tuesday to bring out a bill they say will help small businesses in underrepresented states.
Rubio and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., part of the House leadership as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, unveiled the “Spurring Business in Communities Act" which they say 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. “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 businesses are the backbone of our economy. They provide 55 percent of jobs in America, and account for 1.3 million employees in Washington state alone,” said McMorris Rodgers. “SBICs serve an important function in providing capital and support to these small businesses, but there are currently none here in Washington state. Instead, SBICs are primarily located in large urban and finance centers of the U.S., which only further concentrates lending and investment activity. This legislation will change that by easing the process for SBICs to form in our state, invest in people in our community, grow our local economy, and create jobs.”
Rubio’s bill was set to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Tuesday while the House version was sent to the U.S .House Small Business Committee. So far, Rubio and McMorris Rodgers have not rounded up any co-sponsors.
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