House Small Business Committee

Engaging Energy: Small Business Resources at the Department of Energy

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will meet for a hearing titled, “Engaging Energy: Small Business Resources at the Department of Energy.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

The Subcommittee will examine the resources available to small businesses in the energy sector through the Department of Energy.  This hearing will analyze the degree to which these programs are effective at minimizing confusion regarding participation in the federal contracting process and department-specific small business programs.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness
Mr. Charles R. Smith
Director
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
United States Department of Energy
Washington, DC

Chairman Chabot Says New Tax Withholding Guidance A Win For Small Business Employees

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement in response to the Treasury Department’s announcement of updated tax withholding tables following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: 

“We continue to see positive steps as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  The IRS update of the withholding tables is another example of the law delivering for hardworking small business employees. This is in addition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which ensures small businesses are treated equally by providing a 20 percent deduction on qualified small business income."

Tax withholding tables assist in calculating the amount of tax to withhold from employees’ paychecks. 

Click HERE for additional information about the new tax withholding tables.  

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Engaging Energy: How the Energy Department is Helping Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Subcommittee Chairman Rod Blum (R-IA) and the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade heard from Charles R. Smith, the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) at the United States Department of Energy (DOE).

“Small businesses are integral to the success of the DOE mission and the energy industry; however, the high cost and high technology required in the energy field often leaves small businesses struggling to compete with large corporations,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rod Blum.

“Today’s hearing [addressed] the ways in which DOE is working to minimize the barriers that often exclude small businesses from succeeding in the energy field and highlight the resources the agency offers to small businesses looking to participate in the federal contracting process.”

Energizing Small Businesses: Resources at the Department of Energy

“My focus during my time with this Department is to not only continue to meet our prime contracting and subcontracting goals, but also the subcategory goals like Woman-owned, HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran and 8(a) disadvantaged owned businesses,” said Director Smith.

While DOE is anticipated to meet its prime small business contracting goal prior to the end of the fiscal year, the Department is currently underperforming in its subcategory goals.  This issue, a concern of the Committee, led Mr. Blum to question, “Is there a plan in place? [Earlier] you said we’re hitting the numbers for the small businesses, but missing the numbers in the subcategories—so, is there a plan in place, or not? If so, can you provide that plan to this Committee?”

Beyond the federal contracting process, the DOE maintains a number of programs aimed at assisting small businesses with navigating the federal contracting process, producing and developing energy products, and competing in the energy industry. Many of these programs are run through the DOE OSDBU. Director Smith laid out an array of resources that the Department of Energy offers for small businesses:

  • DOE hosts an annual Small Business Forum & Expo, connecting small business attendees with DOE offices, power administrations, prime contractors and subcontractors.
  • The DOE Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) encourages seasoned contractors to provide business development and sub-contracting opportunities to small businesses interested in partnering with the Department.
  • The Small Business Vouchers program (SBV) allows eligible small businesses to tap into the reserve of national laboratory intellectual and technical assets to overcome critical technology and commercialization challenges.
  • The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) program provides the nuclear community with access to technical, regulatory, and financial support. GAIN hosts workshops discussing regulatory review processes, licensing processes, industry consensus standards and Quality Assurance Program development.

Strengthening SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and the Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of key stakeholders about the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) Loan Program and  H.R. 4743, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act of 2018.

 “The economy is improving. Treasury numbers are moving in the right direction. The tax reform law is being implemented. However, we continue to see that lending and borrowing remain flat. This becomes more acute for the nation’s smallest firms.” said Chairman Chabot. “As a result of multiple hearings, meetings, and briefings, I, along with the Ranking Member and our Senate counterparts introduced H.R. 4743, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act of 2018.”

What the Stakeholders Said:

The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s largest lending program, and because lenders are charged fees to run the program and cover any losses, it currently runs on zero-cost to American taxpayers. Newly introduced, H.R. 4743 is bicameral and bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring the integrity of the program, while bringing stability to small businesses that truly require the services of SBA. 

While community banking organizations represent 17 percent of all U.S. bank assets, we make more than half of all small business loans under $1 million,” said Cindy Blankenship, Vice Chairman of Bank of the West in Grapevine, TX, testifying on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America. “What sets community banks apart is their first-hand knowledge of the borrower, the community, and the local economy. Community bank small business lending simply cannot be duplicated by a bank based outside the community.”

“American Bankers Association (ABA) applauds Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Velazquez for their leadership in working with their Senate counterparts,” noted Patricia Husic, President and CEO of Centric Financial Corporation in Harrisburg, PA, testifying on behalf of ABA. “This long overdue bill will strengthen the SBA’s oversight office and provide the Administrator with flexibility to increase the program’s maximum lending authority in the event it would be reached. The bill helps ensure the strength of the program into the future.”

“Overall, we believe this is a solid legislative package and would urge the Committee to support and advance this legislation in a timely fashion,” said Sonya McDonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union in Universal City, TX, testifying on behalf of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

“There has been great care taken by this Committee to approach this issue with diligence and as the CEO of the SBA 7(a) industry’s trade association for the last thirty years, I can tell you honestly that your careful approach to this matter is a rarity in the history of this program and incredibly appreciated,” stated Anthony Wilkinson, President and CEO of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders. “As Chairman Chabot has stated in front of this Committee in the past, this program should supplement the markets, not supplant them.”

Click here to watch full hearing video, and here to read full witness testimony.

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Strengthening SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 11:00am

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Strengthening SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program.”  The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will examine the United States Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) Loan Program and how changes proposed in H.R. 4743, the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act of 2018, could strengthen oversight and bolster the integrity of the program for small businesses and American taxpayers.  

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Ms. Cindy Blankenship
Vice Chairman
Bank of the West
Grapevine, TX
* Testifying on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America

Ms. Patricia Husic
President & CEO
Centric Financial Corporation
Harrisburg, PA
*Testifying on behalf of the American Bankers Association

Ms. Sonya McDonald
Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
Universal City, TX
* Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions

Mr. Tony Wilkinson
President & CEO
National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders
Washington, DC

Chairman Chabot Responds To President’s Decision To Improve Rural Access to Broadband

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the President issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of the Interior to increase access to broadband tower facilities and other assets to support rural broadband deployment and an Executive Order streamlining broadband infrastructure installation in federally owned buildings:

“Traditionally, rural America has not kept pace with urban areas in large part because of its lack of access to reliable broadband. This week’s economic announcement will help small businesses in rural areas better compete with their urban counterparts and better serve their communities. Small businesses depend on new telecommunications technologies to compete not only in small towns but across the country and, in some cases, the world.”

Addressing the issue of rural broadband access has remained a priority for the Committee. Earlier this Congress, the Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade held a hearing titled, “Improving Broadband Deployment Solutions for Rural America” to examine how to expand broadband to rural America.  The Committee on Small Businesses will continue to work toward ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to succeed.   

Bipartisan, Bicameral Small Business Committee Leaders Introduce Legislation Protecting Integrity of 7(a) Loan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID), and respective Ranking Members Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined together to introduce the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight and Reform Act of 2018. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will increase the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) oversight authority over the 7(a) Loan Program.

Many small business owners are ready to turn their dream into a reality but face obstacles to finance it. One of the many ways they are able to get the capital they need is the 7(a) Loan Program. This legislation will allow SBA to keep a close watch on the program to ensure it is running efficiently and effectively while also protecting taxpayer dollars,” said Chairman Chabot.

“The 7(a) loan program has leveraged billions of dollars to help America’s small businesses thrive,” said Senator Risch. “By bolstering the SBA’s oversight office and providing the Administrator with flexibility to increase the program’s maximum lending authority in the event it would be reached, this bill will ensure the strength of the program into the future, guaranteeing that entrepreneurs will have access to the critical capital they need to build and grow their businesses. The bipartisan and bicameral support for this effort underscores just how important the 7(a) program, and the capital it provides, is to our nation’s small business owners.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation.”  

Ranking Member Velázquez said, “The House Small Business Committee has a long tradition of working across the aisle to promote opportunity and job growth for America’s small businesses and, central to that effort, is ensuring entrepreneurs can access adequate capital to grow their operations. To that end, I’m proud to cosponsor the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, a package of bipartisan, commonsense reforms to increase the efficiency and reach of the program. Since its inception, the 7(a) initiative has provided new and existing ventures with financing to grow and create jobs in local communities.  Under this legislation, SBA will have more tools to meet small businesses’ needs. I’m particularly pleased the bill includes provisions from my legislation allowing SBA to raise its 7(a) lending cap, so there’s no interruption in the flow of loans to small firms.  This is a good bill and I look forward to working with Chairmen Chabot and Risch and Ranking Member Shaheen in seeing it enacted.”

Ranking Member Shaheen said, “SBA’s 7(a) program provides an essential source of capital to help New Hampshire small businesses that don’t qualify for a traditional bank loan – at no cost to taxpayers.  This bipartisan bill ensures that small businesses will not be hurt by a sudden shutdown of the program and left without an affordable source of capital to meet payroll, buy inventory, purchase equipment and create jobs in their community.  It also takes important steps to improve oversight of the program to prevent fraud and increase efficiency.  I look forward to working with my colleagues and SBA to make sure this program works for New Hampshire small businesses.”

The 7(a) loan program is a Small Business Administration program that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses access credit to start and grow their businesses. The Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight and Reform Act of 2018 preserves this important loan program by:

  • Strengthening SBA’s Office of Credit Risk Management by outlining in statute the responsibilities of the office and the requirements of its director;
  • Enhancing SBA’s lender oversight review process, including increasing the office’s enforcement options;
  • Requiring SBA to detail its oversight budget and perform a full risk analysis of the program on an annual basis; and
  • Strengthening SBA’s Credit Elsewhere Test by clarifying the factors that must be considered.

The Small Business Committees have held multiple hearings on the matter and several meetings to ensure the program continues to run effectively and with proper oversight.

Chairman Chabot Responds to DOL’s Proposed Rule Expanding Access to Health Insurance for Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the Department of Labor(DOL) published a proposed rule expanding the definition of “employer” to allow more small business employees and sole proprietors to access health insurance through Small Business Health Plans (also known as Association Health Plans):

While the tax reform package Congress passed and the President signed into law in December effectively ended the burdensome individual mandate, small businesses are still subject to Obamacare’s employer mandate and have few options to provide affordable health care choices to their employees and families. DOL’s proposed rule would allow small employers and sole proprietors to join together and form Small Business Health Plans to provide their workers more affordable and flexible health care options.”

Chairman Chabot also cosponsored H.R. 1101the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which passed the House last year. 

The Department of Labor is still inviting stakeholders to submit public comments on the rule. For more information, the Committee has put together a Regulatory Watch page to track regulatory proposals that have been published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment.


Chairman Steve Chabot Hails Passage of Historic Tax Reform

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement on the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Conference Report:

It is a new day in America: from Cincinnati to Silicon Valley, hardworking families and the 29 million small businesses fueling our economy will see a real decrease in the taxes they pay and a growth in their paychecks,” said Chairman Chabot.

I am proud to have worked with our Republican majorities in the House and the Senate to fulfill a promise that we made to cut taxes and reform our 31-year-old, outdated, and archaic tax code. By doing so, we’re delivering a middle class miracle to everyday Americans.”

Small Business Wins:      

  • Levels the playing field for small businesses by providing a 20 percent deduction on qualified small business income. 
  • Allows businesses to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment which will improve operations and enhance the skills of their workers—unleashing growth of jobs, productivity, and paychecks.
  • Protects the ability of small businesses to write off interest on loans, helping these Main Street entrepreneurs start or expand a business, hire workers, and increase paychecks.

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Chairman Chabot Responds to NLRB Decision to Restore Joint Employer Definition

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled the 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries decision and reinstated the prior joint-employer standard:

“I commend the NLRB for its decision to restore the common sense definition of a joint employer that the Obama Administration reversed. The only way to ensure that this standard remains in place, and that small businesses have certainty that they will remain local and independent, is Congressional action.”

Chairman Chabot is an original cosponsor of H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, to reverse the NLRB’s decision expanding the definition of the joint employer standard, and earlier this year, sent a letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee in support of the bill. H.R. 3441 passed the House on November 8, 2017.

Chairman Chabot Commends House Passage of Save Local Business Act

The Committee first held a roundtable in April 2015 on the issue. NLRB then expanded its definition of the joint employer standard in August 2015. In March 2016, the Committee held a hearing titled, “Risky Business: Effects of New Joint Employer Standards for Small Firms” to examine the negative impact of the rule on small businesses.

Chairman Chabot Seeks Information from IRS on the Effect of Obamacare on Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to David Kautter, Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting more information about the IRS’s recent enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate.

While ACA exempted businesses with 50 or fewer employees from the employer mandate, businesses with 51 or more employees who work 30 or more hours a week were classified as applicable large employers and were made subject to inflation adjusted shared responsibility payments if they had not offered ACA qualified health insurance.

The ACA’s definition of large employers is out of line with the rest of the federal government and the Obama Administration failed to enforce this rule for years.

 “While the IRS, like other federal agencies, is obligated to enforce the laws under its jurisdiction, this sudden change has caught and will catch many employers by surprise,” said Chairman Chabot. “After the Obama-era IRS failed to enforce the law for several years, these small businesses are now subject to random and abrupt collection of these payments by the IRS.”

The full letter to the IRS can be read HERE.

The House Committee on Small Business has heard testimony from numerous small business employees and owners about how Obamacare has cost jobs and opportunities in communities across the United States and needs to be repealed and replaced. 

Chairman Chabot Applauds President Trump’s Signing of the NDAA

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement after President Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law:

“Today is a great day for our nation’s military and our nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators. I applaud the President for signing this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill that not only funds our military, but also is a win for America’s 29 million small businesses.”

Some small business-friendly provisions signed into law include:

  • H.R. 1773, the Clarity for America’s Small Contractors Act of 2017, sponsored by Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH), co-sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
  • H.R. 3294, the HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act  of 2017, sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
  • H.R. 1597, the Commercial Market Representatives Clarification Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL); and
  • H.R. 1693, the Improving Contract Procurement for Small Businesses through More Accurate Reporting Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), co-sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

Note: Chairman Chabot, upon the passage of the NDAA conference report, said, “Small businesses play a vital and indispensable role in providing for the common defense, and I thank both Chambers for recognizing their contribution to the safety of our homeland.

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Bridging the Entrepreneurial Gap: Addressing Barriers to Small Business Formation and Growth

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 9:30am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will meet for a field hearing titled, “Bridging the Entrepreneurial Gap: Addressing Barriers to Small Business Formation and Growth.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 A.M. on Monday, December 11, 2017 in Room 209 of the Village of Deerfield Hall, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL

This hearing will examine federal regulations that inhibit entrepreneurs and provide Subcommittee Members an opportunity to learn about the current barriers to entrepreneurship.  It will also examine potential solutions to these challenges and methods utilized by entrepreneurs to achieve prosperity, such as capitalizing on emerging industries and fostering innovation.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Mr. Steven Whittington
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
LifeWorking Enterprise, LLC
Lake Forest, IL

Ms. Meg Barnhart
Founder and Co-Creator
The Zen of Slow Cooking
Lake Forest, IL

Mr. David Borris
Owner
Hel’s Kitchen Catering
Northbrook, IL

Ms. Cheryl Besenjak
Partner
Grow Well Farms, LLC
Hoffman Estates, IL

The Hill: Requiring Federal Regulators to Consider How Regulations Will Affect Small Businesses

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) wrote an op-ed with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Senate Small Business Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) for The Hill on how Congress should do more when considering how regulations affect small businesses:

Every day, millions of American small business owners and their employees work hard to develop products, provide services, and create jobs that grow our economy. They are mom-and-pop stores, restaurants, tech startups, family farms, manufacturers, and distributors—they are our nation’s entrepreneurs. They are hardworking Americans. And they continue to work hard, even while navigating a tangled web of complex and costly regulations. 

We are encouraged by the Administration’s efforts to ease this burden, including an Executive Order requiring the cost of any one new regulation to be offset by the removal of at least two existing regulations. However, it is Congress, and not the Executive Branch, that has the opportunity—and the obligation—to provide real, meaningful, and permanent regulatory relief for small businesses. They certainly don’t need or want another do-nothing bill or press release that pays lip service without delivering actual change. They need regulatory reform—reform which ensures regulators in future administrations actually listen to and take seriously the concerns of America’s small businesses.

Some of us in Congress are listening. During a House Small Business Committee hearing in September, one witness, Philip Howard, who testified on behalf of Common Good, a non-partisan coalition that focuses on simplifying government, told the Committee about one specific regulation bogging down small businesses: “Worker safety. For example, we literally have thousands of rules telling people helpful things like stairwell shall be lit by artificial or natural light.  How else can they be lit?”  Howard concluded, “These things have almost nothing to do with what makes the workplace safe.”

Small businesses need real regulatory reform like H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which passed the House as part of a larger regulatory reform package on January 11, 2017, and the Senate companion, S. 584, which passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 17, 2017.

That is why our Senate Democrat colleagues need to put aside their partisanship and support this bill.

Read the full article from The Hill HERE.

Chairman Chabot on the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot made the following statement regarding H.R. 477, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017.

As Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, I frequently hear how regulations are preventing growth and expansion. The bill before us today addresses one of the many regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of small business development,” said Chairman Chabot.

Chabot continued, “This should be a time of expansion and increased opportunities, not costs and bureaucratic red tape. Let’s continue to work together on behalf of the small businesses so that they can continue to grow today and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

Click HERE to watch Chairman Chabot’s floor speech and HERE to read the full bill.   

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Cincinnati Business Courier: Helping Greater Cincinnati Minority Entrepreneurs Succeed

House Small Business Committee News - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am

A decade ago, Ohio was considered a fly-over state. But today, the state is gaining ground on big startup regions. Cincinnati in particular has seen a number of changes in the past few years, including more capital, mentors, incubators and accelerators ready to guide the next generation of innovators.  

With a goal of pitching ideas to investors during a demo day – think “Shark Tank” – accelerators put entrepreneurs through a fixed-term, group-based program that focuses on mentorships. 

Though the accelerator model is not new, women and minorities still only make up a small share of accelerator participants. Fortunately, minority and women-focused accelerators have increasingly opened their doors over the last few years, many of which are right here in Cincinnati. 

The Hillman Accelerator was launched this year by former Cincinnati Bengals star Dhani Jones, Candice Matthews and Ebow Vroom with the intent of increasing diversity in tech startups, particularly among minority and women entrepreneurs. 

On July 10, 2017, Hillman welcomed its pilot cohort for a four-month program for tech companies led by underrepresented – African-American, Hispanic, Asian and/or woman – founders. Hillman invested $100,000 per founding team and delivered invaluable services such as business modeling, fundraising leadership, strategy development and legal consultations that helped position the teams for growth. 

According to the Minority Entrepreneur Connectivity Assessment, a study released earlier this year by Sean Rugless at the Katalyst Group, ethnic minority firms make up only 3 to 4 percent of the total clients served by state-supported pre-seed funds in Ohio.

On May 3, the House Committee on Small Business heard from entrepreneurs who are using their resources and knowledge to help other entrepreneurs succeed. 

One witness, Ms. Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Circular Board in Houston, told the committee, “If women and men participated equally in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the United States’ GDP could rise by $30 billion. Yet in spite of this, less than 5 percent of venture capital goes to female founders, and when we start to look at minorities, the numbers are significantly lower.”

Hillman is tearing down these walls as it seeks to empower underrepresented communities in tech by investing in their ideas, developing their talent and creating a runway for their future. 

In their first 12 weeks, Hillman’s pilot cohort created 11 new full-time jobs and four part-time jobs, helped a company secure a paid contract with a large hospital system, engaged business and community mentors throughout the region for more than 400 volunteer hours and attracted over $2 million in venture capital from outside the state of Ohio.

As the Small Business Committee continues to fight for small businesses, accelerators like Hillman will make Ohio a leader in technology and innovation for entrepreneurs.

Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations on the Small Trucking Industry

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:00am

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations on the Small Trucking Industry.”  The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The trucking industry plays a critical role in the United States economy.  America’s businesses rely on the trucking industry to transport and deliver all types of goods and products.  Many trucking companies can be as small as a one-person business and are subject to many of the same federal requirements as large trucking companies, including transportation safety regulations, environmental regulations, worker safety regulations, and labor regulations.  Industries that rely on the trucking industry or use trucking as part of their business model can also be subject to many of the same regulations.  This hearing will examine how federal regulations affect the small trucking industry and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to the industry.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses
Mr. Monte Wiederhold
President
B.L. Reever Transport, Inc.
Maumee, OH
*Testifying on behalf of the Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association

Mr. Marty DiGiacomo
Owner
True Blue Transportation
Harrisburg, NC
* Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies

Mr. Stephen Pelkey
Chief Executive Officer
Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc.
Jaffrey, NH
* Testifying on behalf of the American Pyrotechnics Association

Mr. Tommy Phillipou
Partner
DKN Ready Mix
Long Island City, NY
* Testifying on behalf of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations Affecting the Small Trucking Industry

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing to examine how federal regulations affect the small trucking industry and explore ways to provide regulatory relief to them.

With many regulations taking a one-size-fits-all approach, small trucking companies are forced to comply with expensive, confusing, and time-consuming regulations. This is not only costing small businesses, but America’s economy as a whole, through lost time and delays in receiving all types of goods and products,” said Chairman Chabot (R-OH).

One-Size-Fits-All Regulations Don’t Work for the Trucking Industry

Small trucking companies are subject to many of the same federal requirements as large trucking companies, and the regulations tend to take a one-size-fits-all approach.  Industries that rely on the trucking industry or use trucking as part of their business model can also be subject to many of the same burdensome regulations.

Frequently, regulations promoted by these large fleets are disingenuously billed as silver bullet solutions to enhancing highway safety, despite a distinct lack of reputable evidence to support their claims. In reality, they are economic weapons used to squeeze smaller competitors out of the trucking industry by increasing their operating costs. Continuance of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has left the federal government complicit,” said Monte Wiederhold, President of B. L. Reever Transport, Inc. in Maumee, OH.

“Small business trucking bears a heavy load of rules, regulations, and red tape that are counterproductive to their stated intentions. These regulations, such as the inflexible HOS [Hours of Service] rules, the CSA [Compliance Safety Accountability] program, and the ELD [Electronic Logging Device] mandate add costs, time, and attention, as well as sap small firms’ resources unnecessarily. Instead of making the road safer, these rules and government mandates make both truckers and the driving public less safe,” said Marty DiGiacomo, Owner of True Blue Transportation in Harrisburg, NC.

“Our major concern with the current regulatory structure is that small industry stakeholders are continually swept into these ‘one size fits all’ transportation regulations that are best suited for large commercial companies,” said Stephen Pelkey, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc. in Jaffrey, NH. “There are often many ways to achieve the same goals, and if small businesses are to survive, the DOT [Department of Transportation] regulatory agencies need to do a better job in recognizing the differences between small and big businesses, and that different approaches may be necessary.”

Chairman Chabot introduced H.R. 33, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, to ensure that federal agencies actually examine how their new regulations would impact small businesses and require them to consider ways to reduce unnecessary costs and burdens. The bill was included in a larger bill, H.R. 5 – the Regulatory Accountability Act – which passed the House with a bipartisan vote in January.

Click HERE to watch the full video, and HERE to read the testimony. 

House Small Business Committee Welcomes Rep. John Curtis

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement following the appointment of Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) to the Committee:

From serving the city of Provo, Utah, to building a multi-million dollar business, Rep. Curtis will make a great addition to the our committee, bringing his experience as a small business owner to help our nation’s small companies. We look forward to working with him.”

After being named to the Committee, Curtis said, “Serving on the House Small Business Committee is a tremendous opportunity for me to serve the people of the 3rd Congressional District and I'm ready to get to work for them. Utahn's know that our small businesses - including our startups and our small business manufacturers - are the backbone of our economy.”

John R. Curtis proudly represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District in the United States Congress. In addition to serving on the House Committee on Small Business, he will also be serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Chairman Chabot Votes in Favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement following the House passage of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I want to ensure the tax code works for our nation’s job creators, not against them. H.R. 1 will reduce taxes for small businesses from a top rate of almost 40 percent down to 25 percent, and includes an additional, lower tax rate of 9 percent for the smallest of small businesses. Additionally, it will create tens of thousands of jobs for the people of Ohio and across the country and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.”

 

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