Washington, D.C.— The House has passed a set of four bipartisan bills focused on improving Small Business Administration (SBA) programs that help small business recover from natural disasters, protect against cyber threats, and engage in international trade.
“Small businesses are the beating heart of the American economy. Given that fact, it’s vital that Congress support entrepreneurs and work to alleviate the challenges they face,” said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “These bipartisan bills will strengthen critical SBA programs and help ensure small businesses are protected from cyberthreats, able to export their products abroad, and better equipped to recover from natural disasters.”
Senate Amendment to H.R. 3462, “SBA Cyber Awareness Act”
Introduced by Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) and Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)
The bill directs SBA to issue reports that assess its cybersecurity infrastructure and report cyber-threats, breaches, and cyber-attacks.
H.R. 8844, “STEP Improvement Act of 2022”
Introduced by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) and Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)
The legislation would reauthorize STEP for 4 fiscal years (FY 2023 through FY 2026). The legislation would improve the implementation of the program by creating a standardized application process, increasing spending flexibility for grant recipients, improving communication between SBA and States, collecting performance metrics and reporting to Congress. In addition, the legislation would allow businesses less than one year old to participate in the program.
House Amendment to S. 1687, “Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2022”
Introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
The bill would establish a cyber counseling certification program in Small business Development Centers (SBDCs) to provide specific, free-of-charge cyber training for small businesses. The cyber training provided by the nationwide network of SBDCs will offer crucial resources for small businesses to plan and implement cybersecurity protections and combat cyberattacks
S. 1617, “Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act”
Introduced by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Margaret Hassan (D-NH), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Mike Braun (R-IN)
This bill will close a loophole in the Small Business Administration’s disaster lending program, which disproportionately impacts homeowners and businesses located in remote rural areas. Under the current law, when the President declares a disaster under the Stafford Act, but does not authorize individual assistance, the SBA must declare a disaster for an individual to apply for a loan. However, for SBA to declare a disaster, a minimum amount of physical damage must be sustained by a certain number of homes and businesses in a county or smaller political subdivision. This bill allows SBA to declare a disaster in any rural area in which a major disaster has been declared by the President but individual assistance hasn’t been authorized under the Stafford Act.