House Small Business Committee

Investing in Small Businesses: The SBIC Program

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade heard from a panel of witnesses from all over the country who participate in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program.

As a way to inject more equity into the small business ecosystem to address the gap in long-term financing, the SBA created the Small Business Investment Company Program, also known as the SBIC Program, in 1958,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rod Blum (R-IA).Like many of the SBA’s financial programs…robust and thorough Congressional oversight is required to ensure taxpayer money is safeguarded and protected.

A Successful Private-Public Sector Solution   

The SBIC program is a vital source of capital for small businesses and is a leading example of how the federal government and the private sector can work together to grow the economy and create jobs.

“The program is effective and distinct because the private sector leads with its capital and investment expertise and then SBIC leverage follows to augment the impact of the private investment,” said Brett Palmer, President of the Small Business Investor Alliance in Washington, DC. “It is a mark of SBIC industry pride that the program continued to maintain its zero-subsidy throughout the Great Recession.”

“A hallmark of the SBIC Program is its rigorous licensing process for prospective SBIC funds, ensuring taxpayer protection and safeguarding the program’s reputation,” said Thies Kolln, Partner at Aavin Private Equity in Cedar Rapids, IA. “Because of our location and our firm’s investing principles, we have a particular impact on small businesses in Iowa. In our firm’s history, we have made 26 investments in Iowa small businesses, one as recently as the end of October.”

Our growth has been driven by doing more of the same investments in small businesses. We invested in 28 small businesses through our first SBIC fund and expect to invest in 40 – 50 small businesses over the life of Plexus Fund IV,” stated Michael Painter, Managing Partner at Plexus Capital in Raleigh, NC. “While many peers have found great success moving up market to serve larger companies, we have been intentional about staying focused on smaller businesses who have limited access to capital where we can make a meaningful impact on growth.”

The SBIC program is one of the most innovative, financially successful and well-structured government programs in existence,” said Mark Walsh, Managing Director at Ruxton Ventures in Chevy Chase, MD. “The license application and approval process is extraordinarily rigorous, and creates an efficient “filter” for mismanaged or ill-targeted funds from receiving taxpayer dollars.”

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House Small Business Committee Introduces Bipartisan Small Business Saturday Resolution

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan House resolution to recognize November 25, 2017, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as “Small Business Saturday.”

The text of H. Res. 603 highlights the important role small businesses play in our nation’s economy, stating that the over 29 million small businesses in the United States:

  • Represent 99.9 percent of all businesses with employees
  • Employ nearly 48 percent of private sector employees
  • Pay 41 percent of total private sector payroll
  • Constitute 98 percent of firms exporting goods
  • Created 1.4 million net new jobs

Our nation is built on hard work, determination, and old-fashioned American ingenuity,” said Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I hear daily of the stories of America’s 29 million small businesses that stretch from West Hollywood to Westwood—my hometown. I thank Ranking Member Velázquez for her support for this bipartisan resolution, and encourage all Americans to ‘shop small’ on November 25.

Local Main Street businesses represent the heart of American entrepreneurship and promise,” said Small Business Committee Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “I am pleased to work with Chairman Chabot in introducing a resolution to recognize Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is a chance for Americans to invest in their communities, enjoy the company of neighbors and shop locally.”

The full Committee co-sponsored this resolution. 

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Operating or Rulemaking? A Review of SBA’s Opaque Standard Operating Procedures Process

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:00am


The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations will meet for a hearing titled, “Operating or Rulemaking? A Review of SBA’s Opaque Standard Operating Procedures Process.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, November 2, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building

The Subcommittee will examine the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) standard operating procedures process.


Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witness
Mr. Joseph Loddo
Chief Operating Officer
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC 

Operating or Rulemaking? Reviewing SBA’s Opaque Standard Operating Procedure Process

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations questioned Joseph Loddo, the Chief Operating Officer at the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), about SBA’s lack of transparency regarding its standard operating procedures (SOPs) process. 

SOPs instruct SBA employees how to do their job.  They help program participants understand their responsibilities. They clarify laws and regulations,” said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS). ”This Committee has been concerned for some time that the agency’s SOPs are doing more than just that.

Rep. Kelly continued, “Specifically, we are concerned that SBA is making legislative binding rules outside of the rulemaking process. They are not required to solicit public input.

Bureaucrats Writing Law

The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) establishes the requirements agencies must meet when creating rules and regulations. It ensures that agencies must provide notice to the public and allow time for comment. However, agencies including the SBA, are not required to go through these steps when creating their SOPs. 

The Small Business Committee has requested a briefing on the SOP process for several months. SBA has still not provided it.

I think that y’all can do a whole lot better job of making sure that when we send requests whether it’s from staff or the actual Member that you comply with that,” said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS). I know that from the military and certainly with soldiers, when you’re hiding something—even if it’s not bad, I’m going to think it’s bad. It’s the same way with any other organization.

The Small Business Committee works hard to ease the burden of regulations on small businesses, across industries and across our country.  The Committee wants to ensure that the SBA—and other agencies—are not rulemaking through their standard operating procedures.

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

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ICYMI: Tax Reform for the Growing Gig Economy

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Heidi Pickman, theCommunications and Policy Director of the California Association of Micro Enterprise Opportunity, released an op-ed in support of Chairman Steve Chabot's (R-OH) bill, H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners' Tax Simplification Act.

"As Congress debates tax reform, we hear lots about the middle class, corporations, and the 1 percent, but we haven’t heard much about the gig economy, and we should," stated Heidi Pickman.

"What is the gig economy? Do you include independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers? Temp agency and on-call workers? Workers on a company contract?" said Pickman. "People involved in these work arrangements account for 30 million workers or about 20 percent of the labor force; a number that is growing at a rate faster than general total employment. If you include people who do some very part-time independent work, you end up with about70 million people involved in the gig economy, or 36 percent of the workforce."

Pickman continued, "The House Small Business Committee is on the right track with H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act, with a similar bill being discussed in the Senate. The bill would make several changes that would provide simplification and clarity to the tax code for entrepreneurs and startups; it would allow for voluntary withholding agreements and training services through the platforms without impacting a worker’s classification status and enable these business owners to participate in Cafeteria Plans or flexible spending accounts."

Click HERE to read full article.

H.R. 3717 Background:

The overwhelming majority of businesses in the United States are categorized as small businesses; yet, the nation’s job creators face a multitude of inequities with regard to tax policy.

Specifically, H.R. 3717 will help level the playing field for small businesses and provide clarity for entrepreneurs and startups as they face the complexity and uncertainty of the tax code. From updating signature requirements and anti-fraud measures to the treatment of cafeteria plans, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act of 2017 will advance the United States Internal Revenue Code, just as technology is advancing how companies reach customers.


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Chairman Chabot Celebrates National Veterans Small Business Week

House Small Business Committee News - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Chairman Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement on National Veterans Small Business Week; which is October 30-November 3,  2017:

America’s armed forces not only preserve and protect the homeland, but are also trained with the discipline and leadership necessary to own and operate successful businesses,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “Their dedication and strength from serving their country is evident in the nearly 2.5 million veteran-owned small businesses across the United States that create more than 5 million jobs.”

Chairman Chabot is also an original co-sponsor of Representative Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-PA) H. Res. 588, which supports National Veterans Small Business Week.

The resolution states that:

  • Veteran-owned businesses make up nearly 10 percent of all United States businesses.
  • Veterans account for more than $1 trillion in business receipts every year.
  • Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans.
  • Women veteran-owned businesses have increased significantly, from 97,114 in 2007 to 383,302 in 2012.
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<p>The Committee on Small Business

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 10:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access will meet for a hearing titled, “Financing Through Fintech: Online Lending’s Role in Improving Small Business Capital Access.”  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will provide the Subcommittee with an opportunity to examine recent trends in how small businesses obtain capital, the different business models in the industry, and how online lending fits into the overall lending landscape.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List


Witnesses
Mr. William Phelan
President and Co-Founder
PayNet, Inc.
Skokie, IL
Testimony
Disclosure 

Ms. Katherine Fisher
Partner
Hudson Cook
Hanover, MD
Testimony
Disclosure 

Financing Through Fintech: Private Sector Solutions in Improving Small Business Capital Access

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard from a group of financial technology (fintech) leaders on online lending’s role in improving small business capital access.

The amount of community banks in the United States has fallen dramatically in recent years, and regulations such as Dodd-Frank have made it more difficult for small businesses to acquire loans through traditional means,” said Subcommittee Chairman Dave Brat (R-VA).  “One private sector solution that has grown considerably in recent years to address this credit gap is online lending.

Small Businesses Need Choices

While it is difficult to evaluate the size of the fintech industry, online lenders estimated that they lent between $5 and $7 billion loans to small businesses in 2015. The industry is expected to become a $50 billion dollar industry by 2020.

Fintechs have provided three critical benefits to the supply of credit to small businesses,” said William Phelan, President and Co-Founder of PayNet, Inc. in Skokie, IL. “First, they have figured out technology platforms to lower the cost of processing a credit application; second, they have changed the expectations among small businesses for access to and speed for working capital credit; third, they are filling the credit gap faced by small businesses across the credit spectrum and industry sectors.”                                                                                     

Fintech lending includes non-traditional lending that directly addresses some concerns of small businesses by providing faster access to capital than traditional lending,” said Katherine Fisher, Partner at Hudson Cook, LLP in Hanover, MD. “Technology has allowed lenders to automate the lending process, leading to a less burdensome application process. The existence of fintech lenders provides small businesses with the ability to quickly obtain capital needed for immediate operations.” 


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SBC Sends Letter To Ways & Means Requesting Consideration of H.R. 3717

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – This week, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter with Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) requesting the Committee consider H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act. H.R. 3717 would update the tax code for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs.

In the letter, Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Velázquez stated:

“The outsized role small businesses have on the economy cannot be disputed.  They are the country’s job creators, they are our nation’s innovators, and they are transforming communities from coast to coast.  However, the tax code continues to disproportionately impact the smallest firms, which often do not employ armies of experts to handle and calculate their taxes.  Moreover, the tax code has simply not kept pace with today’s technology-focused companies that are altering how businesses reach and interact with customers.”

“As the Committee on Ways and Means discusses tax reform, we request that you consider the role small businesses have on our economy, along with the provisions outlined in H.R. 3717.  In addition to the priority of cutting tax rates for small firms, this bill offers practical and common sense ideas that will truly impact every small company.  It addresses the feedback our Committee has heard again and again – to simplify and streamline the tax code. At the end of the day, when small businesses are growing and expanding, so does the American economy.”

The Committee held a hearing on October 4, 2017 to hear from private sector witnesses on H.R. 3717. They have also received numerous letters of support from groups within the sharing economy expressing how the legislation would benefit current companies and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The full letter can be read HERE.

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GAO Audit Reveals Half-Measures Taken by Small Business Advocates

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 11:00am

The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce will meet for a hearing titled, “GAO Audit Reveals Half-Measures Taken by Small Business Advocates.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The hearing will review a comprehensive audit of the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The GAO report examines compliance with select Small Business Act section 15(k) requirements by the OSDBU across 24 federal agencies.  


Documents 

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses

Mr. William B. Shear
Director
Financial Markets and Community Investment
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Robb N. Wong
Associate Administrator
Office of Government Contracting and Business Development
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. Kevin Boshears
Director
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC
Testimony 

GAO Audit Reveals Half-Measures Taken by Small Business Advocates

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce heard from a panel of government officials on the comprehensive audit of the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBUs) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In order to protect and preserve the interests of small businesses across the federal government, each agency with procurement powers has its own OSDBU office,” said Subcommittee Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA).  “It is our responsibility to conduct proper oversight by asking them to explain why they are noncompliant, and explore options to remedy the situation.

It is important to assess whether the government agencies offices are faithfully executing the Small Business Act,” said Congressman James Comer (R-KY). “The lessons we take from today’s hearing will help us understand more clearly how OSDBUs impact small business contractors nationwide.”

Agencies Should Not Be Allowed to Flout the Law

There were widespread and varying degrees of noncompliance throughout the GAO report that were particularly troubling. GAO found high levels of noncompliance for several specific requirements in the Small Business Act; these high rates of noncompliance are particularly troubling.

Agencies demonstrated mixed levels of compliance with OSDBU Director Requirements,” said Bill Shear, Director of Financial Markets and Community Investment at the United States Government Accountability Office. “Of the five director-related requirements we reviewed, the level of demonstrated compliance varied, but was not universal for any one requirement…levels of demonstrated compliance were high for five of eight functional requirements, but were much lower for the remaining three requirements.

A Model for Success

Collaboration between the OSDBUs and Small Business Administration (SBA) will enable us, as advocates for small business, to pivot and meet the challenges of the ever-changing marketplace,” said Robb N. Wong, Associate Administrator for the Office of Government Contracting and Business Development at the United States Small Business Administration.  “The point of all of this, SBA, the OSDBUs, and the Scorecard process, is to encourage agencies to provide small businesses access to government prime contracts and subcontracts.”

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a robust, award-winning small business contracting program that promotes small business prime contracts and small business subcontracts under large business prime contractors,” stated Kevin Boshears, the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the United States Department of Homeland Security. “DHS has demonstrated compliance with all 12 of the 12 requirements selected by GAO for review.”

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

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Small Business Capital Access: Supporting Community and Economic Development

House Small Business Committee News - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 2:30pm

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Small Business Capital Access: Supporting Community and Economic Development.”  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:30 P.M. on Friday, October 20, 2017 in Studio C at The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19139.

The hearing will look at capital access programs working to promote affordable lending products for small businesses, especially those in distressed areas.

Documents 

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses

Ms. Dafina Williams
Vice President of Public Policy
Opportunity Finance Network
Philadelphia, PA
Testimony 
Disclosure

Ms. Leslie Benoliel
President
Entrepreneur Works
Philadelphia, PA
Testimony 
Disclosure

Mr. Lin Thomas
Chief Executive Officer
EMSCO Scientific Enterprises, Inc.
Philadelphia, PA
Testimony 
Disclosure

Mr. Steve Dorcelien
Owner
Bright Yellow Creamery
Philadelphia, PA 
Testimony 
Disclosure

 

Chairman Chabot Praises Nomination of SBA Inspector General

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) praised the White House’s decision to nominate Hannibal “Mike” Ware to serve as the Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General:

“Acting Inspector General Mike Ware has testified before the Committee several times this year, each time proving that he is a great choice for this position. He has been straightforward and gives the Committee confidence that the SBA OIG will continue to conduct thorough oversight over SBA,” said Chairman Chabot. “Mr. Ware has done a good job as the Acting Inspector General and I look forward to continuing to work with him as SBA Inspector General.”   

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Oversight Improvements Needed: SBA OIG’s Review of the Microloan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 2:00pm




The Subcommittees will examine the Small Business Administration’s Microloan Program.  The hearing will focus on the SBA’s Office of Inspector General’s September 28, 2017 report entitled, “Audit of SBA’s Microloan Program.”

Documents

1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement

Witnesses

Mr. Hannibal “Mike” Ware
Acting Inspector General
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC
Testimony

Mr. William Manger
Associate Administrator
Office of Capital Access
United States Small Business Administration
Washington, DC
Testimony

Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurial Success

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:00am

The hearing will examine the current state of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States, while highlighting both the challenges women entrepreneurs experience and the existing resources available to support women-owned small businesses.  Additionally, this hearing, occurring during National Women’s Small Business Month, will address what can be done to decrease the entrepreneurial gender gap by highlighting the areas in which resources and opportunities available to women entrepreneurs could be expanded.   

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List
3. Hearing Memo
4. Opening Statement 

Witnesses

Ms. Jeannette King
President & CEO
Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc.
Martinsburg, WV
Testimony
Disclosure

Janice Green, RN, BSN, MBA
President & CEO
Jancare Private Health Service, Inc.
Fishkill, NY
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Antonella Pianalto
President and CEO
Association of Women’s Business Centers
Washington, DC
Testimony
Disclosure

Ms. Hester Clark
President
Hester Group
Jacksonville, FL
Testimony
Disclosure

Committee Examines SBA OIG’s Review of the Microloan Program

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Subcommittees on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations and Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard from agency officials from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) on the SBA’s September 28, 2017 report entitled, “Audit of SBA’s Microloan Program.” 

“Ultimately, SBA is supposed to make sure that the Microloan Program—a program there to help the littlest of the little guys—is actually fulfilling its purpose. According to a recent audit from the SBA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), however, the agency needs to improve its oversight over the Microloan Program,” said Subcommittee Chairman Trent Kelly (R-MS). “In fact, OIG found that SBA did not even implement all of the recommendations from the 2009 audit. Even though SBA said it would. That is not acceptable. SBA must do better.”

SBA Must Do Better

The Subcommittees examined the Small Business Administration’s Microloan Program based in the Office of Capital Access. The audit brought to light the inadequate oversight the SBA has been doing on the not-for-profit intermediaries who make last resort microloans to small businesses. Weak oversight undermines the purpose of the program, invites fraud and waste, and puts American taxpayer dollars at risk.

“SBA management did not effectively implement all prior audit recommendations to improve oversight. Furthermore, SBA management did not conduct adequate program oversight to measure program performance and ensure program integrity,” said Mike Ware, Acting Inspector General at the United States Small Business Administration in Washington, DC. “These internal control weaknesses were due to SBA not having an overall site visit plan, an adequate information system, available funding for system improvements, or clear Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Additionally, SBA management focused on output-based performance measures instead of outcome measures.”

Subcommittee Chairman Kelly (R-MS) said, “Mr. Manger [Associate Administrator of the Office of Capital Access at the SBA], you have a roadmap. The Office of the Inspector General told you exactly what you need to do to do this thing right. My hope is that the SBA will follow to the tee those recommendations or either dispute with this Committee or the Office of the Inspector General what you don’t agree with.”

Members of both Subcommittees reiterated the importance of adhering to the recommendations of the Office of the Inspector General in ensuring accountability and good stewardship of microloans.

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Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurial Success

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology heard from a panel of women experienced in the challenges women entrepreneurs face in today’s economy, as well as the available resources to support women-owned small businesses.

While women entrepreneurs face many challenges, one major issue women owners face is access to adequate financing opportunities. Men typically launch their businesses with twice the capital women do, and less than 10 percent of all venture funds are granted to women-led businesses. The matter of access to capital is of particular concern to me, as it is a persistent issue among my constituents in American Samoa,” said Subcommittee Chairman Aumua Amata Colemen Radewagen.

Examining the Current State of Women’s Entrepreneurship in the U.S.

Traditionally, the rate at which women are starting businesses has been significantly lower than the rate at which men do. Overall, the number of women engaging in entrepreneurship has increased over time; however, a gender gap still exists.

Creating an environment where women can start and grow businesses has always been a vital part of our economic security. Today that is truer than ever, with women starting ventures at four times the rate of men. Their success is vital to the US economy as women-owned businesses have a significant impact on their local communities and collectively drive growth and create jobs,” said Antonella Pianalto, President and CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers in Washington, DC.

I started SRE in 2007, with $10,000, I was and still am, a single mother with no access to any other capital,” said Jeannette King, President and CEO of Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. in Martinsburg, WV. “Thanks to various programs and the support and guidance I receive from my WV SBA office in Clarksburg, WV, I have a line of credit, I have grown SRE to a multimillion dollar company and I use the HUBZone program as it was intended - to help disadvantaged individuals in economically depressed areas become trained and qualified to obtain sustainable jobs.”

Mentorship is important to the success of entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs need guidance through the process of starting and growing their business. Someone who has the experience and knowledge to show you how to reach your goal is a valuable resource. Anyone can open a business, but having the right tools is necessary for success. Writing an effective business plan, implementing, and updating that plan is the key to success. Running a business day to day can be challenging. Having a mentor to prevent you from making certain mistakes in the process is priceless,” said Janice Green, President and CEO of Jancare Private Health Service, Inc. in Fishkill, NY.

My journey as a woman entrepreneur is not unusual. There are over ten million women entrepreneurs in the United States. We share similar paths. Each of us are unsure, at times unknowing, yet we are unafraid to become an entrepreneur. And each of us need support and guidance,” said Hester Clark, President of the Hester Group in Jacksonville, FL.

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Chairman Chabot Applauds the President’s Executive Order on Healthcare

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) released the following statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on Healthcare.

“I applaud President Trump’s actions today in taking the first step to help 35 million workers employed by small businesses exercise greater control over their healthcare decisions.  Hopefully, this Administration continues to keep small businesses at the forefront of this conversation,” said Chairman Chabot. “The Executive Order makes it easier for small employers to join together and form Association Health Plans (AHP) to provide their workers more affordable, flexible coverage options.”

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

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Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Members of the House Small Business Committee heard from a panel of government officials on how federal agencies are reducing paperwork burdens on small businesses and agency compliance issues with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).

“Even though the PRA is supposed to reduce paperwork burdens, small businesses are still faced with an overwhelming amount of paperwork requirements each day,” said Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “In fact, paperwork requirements are costing America almost $120 billion a year. But as we heard at our hearing last March, this number is probably much higher, because federal agencies may not be accurately estimating the burden.”

Are Burdens Being Reduced?

This is the second hearing in a series examining the PRA’s goals to reduce the paperwork burden on individuals and small businesses, while also reducing the cost to the federal government of collecting and using information. The PRA makes the agency’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) responsible for compliance with the Act.  The witnesses included agency representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The witnesses provided testimony on their efforts to minimize federal paperwork burdens on small businesses under the PRA.  However, Members of the Committee were skeptical of the agencies’ efforts to reduce paperwork requirements on small businesses.

“I’ve heard during your testimony you’ve uttered the following words more than once: that your agency strives to limit the information and paperwork requirements we place on the public, balancing our data and information needs—the government’s data and information needs—with the burdens associated with those needs.” said Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA). “There’s not a small business person in my district in Northeast Iowa that believes that statement. Not a one.”

“The purpose [of the PRA] is not to get information for any of your agencies. The purpose is to make these small businesses productive.” said Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS).

“[i]t does all fall on the small business person, often two or three people, having to make a profit and work through all this red tape.” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE).

“I’m a small business owner.” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC). “I’ve had it with paperwork. I’ve had it with having to fill out every form in the world.”

Members of the Committee were also concerned that the agencies are not doing enough to reduce the burden, and that small business owners are not seeing the results of the agencies’ efforts.

“When will small businesses see a reduction in the paperwork? Because that sounded very nice. But they’re sitting there in Iowa saying this isn’t going to happen. It never has in the past.” said Rep. Blum. “Small business have zero resources available, none. Every time we ask them for a bit of information, we just taxed them.”

“[e]very dollar that I have to spend filling out this paperwork...is a dollar that I can expand our business. That’s a machine I can buy. That’s a tractor that I can put to work.” said Rep. Norman.


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Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act Part II: Are Burdens Being Reduced?

House Small Business Committee News - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 2:00pm

The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Evaluating the Paperwork Reduction Act Part II: Are Burdens Being Reduced?” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Attachments
1. Hearing Notice
2. Witness List

Witnesses 
Steven Fine, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Administrator
Acting Chief Information Officer
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC

Mr. Stephen D. Guertin
Deputy Director for Policy
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Washington, DC

Mr. Gundeep Ahluwalia
Chief Information Officer
United States Department of Labor
Washington, DC

Mr. Todd Simpson
Chief Information Officer
United States Food and Drug Administration
Silver Spring, MD


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