Subcommittee Examines Role of Entrepreneurial Development in Promoting the Success of Small Firms – Post No. 031408 – 4

Video| Small Business Committee

House of Representative Seal

News From the
Committee on Small Business
Subcommittee on Urban & Rural Entrepreneurship
Heath Shuler, Chairman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Facing record energy prices, tightening credit markets and heavy job losses, America looks to a proven source of economic strength-small businesses. In turn, many of these firms rely on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) entrepreneurial development programs, which are specifically designed to provide them with the business information, training, and advice they need to succeed. The Subcommittee on Urban and Rural Entrepreneurship today held an oversight hearing to ensure these initiatives are meeting the needs of small firms.

“Small businesses are leaders when it comes to innovation and job creation. It is in the nation’s fundamental interest to help them grow the economy,” said Chairman Heath Shuler (NC-11).

Each month 400,000 new U.S. businesses are created. Each one faces distinct challenges, but with the help of SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs, their ideas can become market-leading products and services. Witnesses at today’s hearing further underscored the importance of these programs, especially the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). They also recommended ways the agency could improve the management of the initiatives and-to ensure their integrity is not undermined-urged careful review of recent structural shifts at SBA.

“The math on this is very simple. Small business owners who take advantage of SBA’s entrepreneurial development support are twice as likely to succeed. That’s the sort of calculation that keeps America at the forefront of global competitiveness,” said Chairman Shuler.

Chairman Shuler introduced the Small Energy Efficient Business Act (H.R. 2389), which was adopted as part of last year’s Omnibus energy legislation. His measure helps small firms deal with skyrocketing energy costs, and provides them with technical assistance in the development of energy efficiency plans. The Committee has also focused on emerging small business sectors. To help meet the needs of entrepreneurs who are veterans of the U.S. military, the panel supported The Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act (H.R. 4253). That bill was signed into law earlier this year. It helps reservists strengthen their businesses and provides veterans with entrepreneurial training to help them transition skills learned in the military into the private sector. Both bills represent important, albeit initial, steps in strengthening the SBA’s entrepreneurial development initiatives.

“We must remain focused on what works for small businesses and the nation. That clearly includes these programs,” said Chairman Shuler. “Entrepreneurial development is not just good for small firms; it is a proven deficit reducer that puts two dollars into the Federal Treasury for every one dollar invested.”

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