The Committee on Small Business hearing titled, “How Red Tape Affects Community Banks and Credit Unions: A GAO Report,” originally scheduled for 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, is rescheduled for 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will examine a report by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) that assessed how regulations impact community banks and credit unions. The GAO report identifies a number of financial regulations that are burdensome for small financial institutions. Additionally, the report outlines the tools and methods that financial regulators have at their disposal to reduce burdens on small financial institutions. The hearing will provide Members of the Committee with the opportunity to explore the regulations that are impacting the institutions that are instrumental in delivering capital to the nation’s small businesses.Attachments
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access will meet for a hearing titled, “Occupational Hazards: How Excessive Licensing Hurts Small Business.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will examine how easing occupational licensing barriers could reduce workforce gaps and regulatory costs for small businesses.Attachments
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Workforce Development: Closing the Skills Gap.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:30 A.M. on Monday, February 26, 2018 in Boilermakers Local Lodge No. 13 at 2300 New Falls Road, Newportville, PA.
The Committee will examine ways in which federal programs help or hinder workforce development initiatives aimed at supporting small businesses. The hearing will explore methods in which programs can close the skills gap while also connecting a new generation of workers with rewarding jobs in industries that lack qualified applicants.Attachments
The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will meet for a hearing titled, “Restoring Rural America: How Agritech is Revitalizing the Heartland.” The hearing will take place at 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
This hearing will continue the Committee’s examination of the rapidly developing agricultural technology (agritech) industry. In October 2017, the Subcommittee hearing titled, “High-Tech Agriculture: Small Firms on the Frontier of Agribusiness,” highlighted the role of small businesses and the perspective of small family farmers. Subcommittee Members will hear from institutions driving agritech entrepreneurship and innovation activity, which has spurred rural revitalization.Attachments
WASHINGTON—Today, Subcommittee Chairman Rod Blum (R-IA) and the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade heard from a panel of witnesses who are driving agricultural entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Agricultural innovations and technologies (agritech) have the ability to increase farm productivity, reduce resource use, and boost profits,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rod Blum. “Agritech entrepreneurship activity is also spurring rural revitalization with agritech initiatives in America’s Heartland and other regions, attracting talent, dollars, and jobs to those communities.”
How Agritech is Revitalizing the Heartland
Agritech investment is driving rural revitalization with various initiatives using entrepreneurship to bring jobs and dollars into local economies and communities.
“The adoption of agritech will result in a more productive and sustainable agriculture. The process of farm to fork will be more automated, connected, sensed, and traced. The ability to do and create new products, services and experiences will create opportunities that can work anywhere, including rural areas,” said Kevin Kimle, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.
“[Agritech] is driven by the need to feed a growing population, changing food consumption patterns, increased pressure on natural resources, and the dramatic reduction of the cost of enabling technologies such as genomic sequencing and big data,” stated Pete Nelson, President of AgLaunch in Memphis, TN. “We believe in the role of a farmer as a partner in innovation, not just a first customer and this philosophy will change the current agricultural investment thesis. This will create more successful startups and bring forward solutions that more efficiently address real-world agricultural problems.”
“Federal and state research institutes use a variety of means to collaborate with the private sector as does the Danforth Plant Science Center,” said Sam Fiorello, Chief Operating Officer at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and President of BRDG Park in St. Louis, MO. “In the last 20 years, we have established networks of individuals and organizations that help strengthen the ecosystem; inventors, investors, business development experts, key industry players who become acquirers of technologies and/or companies, thought leaders, and more.”
One thing is certain: as the population of the United States continues to grow, the need for sustainable agriculture based off of advances in agritech will also continue to rise.Read More
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Job Creation, Competition, and Small Business’ Role in the United States Economy.” The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will provide Committee Members with the opportunity to discuss new research conducted by Goldman Sachs regarding the effect of access to capital on small firms’ growth and expansion. The hearing will also explore economic trends that show small firms’ access to capital, particularly in large urban and remote rural areas, has been slower to recover. Finally, the hearing will feature small business owners who have graduated from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, offering insight as to what private sector resources can be available to small firms seeking assistance to grow.Attachments
WASHINGTON—Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and the Committee on Small Business heard testimony from Steven Strongin, Head of the Global Investment Research Division at Goldman Sachs, and two small business entrepreneurs. Both J.R. Foster, President and CEO of the Robert Louis Group, and Jessica Johnson-Cope, President of Johnson Security Bureau, Inc., are graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.
“Our small businesses — the true engines of our economy — unfortunately continue to experience a rigid lending environment,” said Chairman Steve Chabot. “While large companies can turn to debt and equity markets to raise capital, small businesses all over the country regularly turn to conventional bank lending to finance their projects. Making access to capital easier for small firms has been a priority of this Committee since day one.”
What the Graduates are Saying:
Recent research from Goldman Sachs has shown that while some areas of the nation have experienced a more open credit market, the same cannot be said for largely urban and predominantly rural areas.
“Behind the focus on small businesses is a series of stark facts: even as the American economy is more than 100 months into the current recovery – now the third longest on record – the ‘small business economy’ has continued to face some serious challenges,” said Steven Strogin, Head of the Global Investment Research Division at Goldman Sachs in New York, NY. “This hearing coincides with a summit hosted by the Firm entitled: ‘10,000 Small Businesses: The Big Power of Small Business.’ The aim is to renew our collective focus on the vital relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth, including the link between small business formation and innovation, as well as economic and social mobility for American workers.”
“I found myself lost in the sea of managing employees, customers, contractors, payroll, marketing, and the like. I needed something more than my corporate career had taught me,” said J.R. Foster, President and CEO of the Robert Louis Group in Cincinnati, OH. “I was introduced to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. After a year of course work, excellent class room engagement, and dialogue with the 100+ small business owners in my cohort – I was able to excel in areas where I fell short. I also discovered that our local chamber of commerce in Cincinnati and other minority organizations like the Urban League have been helpful in growing the capacity of small business owners.”
“My peers and I face many challenges as we grow our businesses. The current business environment makes it increasing difficult for small businesses to survive, let alone grow,” stated Jessica Johnson-Cope, President of Johnson Security Bureau, Inc., in Bronx, NY. “Since completing the program, Johnson Security has created over 150 jobs. Our revenues have increased more than 10-fold. Our operations have expanded into two neighboring states.”
Opportunities from both the government and the private sector allows small businesses to access capital and help revitalize their communities. It is these communities that reap the benefits of a vibrant and flourishing American economy.
Click here to watch full hearing video, and here to read full witness testimony.
WASHINGTON – This week, House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot testified in front of a House Ways and Means subcommittee at a hearing on ways to improve tax administration. Specifically, he spoke on legislation he introduced, H.R. 3717, the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act.
“H.R. 3717 takes simple common sense steps to reform how taxes are administered. Among the many reforms outlined in the bill, H.R. 3717 would realign estimated tax payment deadlines, which cause confusion, because they currently do not fall when calendar quarters actually conclude,” said Chairman Chabot.
“Next, the legislation requires the Secretary of the Treasury to set standards for accepting digital signatures. And when a direct deposit refund is in order, pre-notification testing is also required.”
Lastly, Chairman Chabot added, ”To address the pace at which small businesses are pursuing the sharing economy, we examined the important decisions small businesses make when it comes to independent contractors and worker classifications. Specifically, the legislation would allow companies to enter into voluntary withholding agreements and offer voluntary training without impacting classifications.”
Chairman Chabot asked the Ways and Means Committee to take these provisions into account as they address tax administration. To watch the video testimony, click HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON—House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot released the following statement on President Trump’s State of the Union:
“As the President said, our nation is a nation of builders. As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I hear every day from the builders of America’s 29 million small businesses. They’re optimistic about deregulation, lower taxes, and the ability to create more jobs for their communities and fellow Americans. I look forward to working side by side with the President in ensuring that our American economy continues to flourish.”
The Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled, “Small Business Information Sharing: Combating Foreign Cyber Threats.” The hearing will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
As the Committee has learned in past hearings, some foreign backed firms have taken steps to expose small businesses’ information technology systems as a means of infiltrating America’s critical infrastructure and weakening our national security. A key component in combating these cybersecurity vulnerabilities is strengthening the federal government’s engagement with private sector. At the hearing, Members will discuss H.R. 4668, the Small Business Advanced Cybersecurity Enhancements Act of 2017, and examine how federal agencies are facilitating greater information sharing with small businesses that are vulnerable to foreign backed cyber attacks.
WASHINGTON—Today, Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and the Committee on Small Business heard testimony from Howard Marshall, Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Richard Driggers, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, National Protection and Programs Directorate, at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on the federal government’s role in providing support to America’s 29 million small businesses at risk of foreign cyberattack.
“In today’s global economy, small business are increasingly turning to foreign technology to remain competitive in the world marketplace, “said Chairman Chabot. “However, these same products and services also provide new opportunities for foreign cyber criminals to infiltrate small business information technology systems, allowing them access to sensitive and valuable information.”
Combating Foreign Cyber Threats
There is strong bipartisan support from both chambers of Congress and the President to protect and strengthen American cyberinfrastructure from foreign attacks. Chairman Chabot has made it a top priority of the Committee during his term as Chairman, and recently introduced H.R. 4668, the Small Business Advanced Cybersecurity Enhancements Act of 2017, to increase the defensive measures available for small businesses undergoing or concerned about a cyber attack.
“Mr. Marshall, how do you determine whether a cyberattack on a small business warrants FBI intervention? Is there a monetary loss threshold? Or is there some other indicator to assess an appropriate level of response, and/or dedication of resources from the FBI?” questioned Chairman Chabot.
“There is no hard and fast rule, Mr. Chairman. Generally there are a number of variables we’ll look at. It depends on the field office that has jurisdiction over the particular attack,” said FBI Deputy Assistant Director Howard Marshall. “We continue to see an increase in the scale and scope of reporting on malicious cyber activity that can be measured by the amount of corporate data stolen or deleted, personally identifiable information compromised, or remediation costs incurred by U.S. victims. In light of these and other cyber threats to U.S. businesses, the FBI has made private sector engagement a key component of our strategy for combatting cyber threats.”
“The Federal Government and its contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers at all tiers of the supply chain are under constant attack…In some cases, advanced threat actors target small businesses deep in the government’s supply chain to gain a foothold and then pivot to sensitive information and intellectual property,” said DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Driggers. “Over the last several years, many federal contractors have significantly improved their cybersecurity posture, making it more difficult for threat actors to launch successful attacks on their enterprises. However, this has caused increased targeting of small businesses connected to the federal supply chain that may not have the resources or awareness to adequately address such threats.”
Based on revelations from today’s hearing, the Chairman stated that the Committee will hold further hearings and investigations on companies owned by foreign governments that may be using their products for nefarious reasons.Click here to watch full hearing video, and here to read full witness testimony Read More
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
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.
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:
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
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.”Read More
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.Read More
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:
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.Read More
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.