WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship today passed four bills that will help vulnerable small businesses access broadband, strengthen cybersecurity defenses, ease compliance with federal regulations, and help veterans and their spouses transition from the military to entrepreneurship. The bills were all passed by voice vote.
S. 1687, the Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2021
Introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the bill would create a program to train counselors at Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to provide cybersecurity guidance to small business owners.
Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said, “As ransomware and other cyber-attacks become more prevalent, Congress must expand access to cybersecurity resources for small businesses. This bill will certify SBDC counselors to help small business owners identify their cybersecurity vulnerabilities and fortify defenses against cyber threats.”
S. 3564, the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act
Introduced by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the bill would formally authorize the Boots to Business program for 5 years, and codify the goals and requirements of the program.
Cardin said, “The training veterans receive in the armed services translate very well to entrepreneurship, which is why the Department of Defense includes the Boots to Business Program as a resource in its Transition Assistance Program for servicemembers at the end of their military careers. Boots to Business gives veterans, transitioning servicemembers and their spouses the opportunity to learn about business ownership and transfer the skills they learn in the military to the private sector.”
S. 3595, the One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act
Introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Shaheen, the bill would require the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to maintain a website with hyperlinks to the small business compliance guides of each federal agency, as well as the relevant points of contact for the guides.
Cardin said, “Owning and operating a small business is an around-the-clock job, so this bill makes it easier for small businesses to comply with federal regulations by requiring the SBA to maintain a centralized website where entrepreneurs can access regulation compliance guidelines for federal agencies.”
Introduced by Senators Shaheen and John Kennedy (R-La.), the bill would equip the SBA with the leadership and resources necessary to help small businesses access broadband internet.
Cardin said: “This measure is especially important for small business in rural communities. During the pandemic, many small businesses transitioned to delivery, curbside pickup, online sales, and other innovative models to make up for the loss of in-person customers. These changes in consumer expectations have only made access to affordable broadband internet more important to the success of businesses. This bill will leverage the SBA’s existing resources to train small business owners on how best to integrate broadband internet and other emerging technologies into their businesses.”