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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced S. 1975, the Small Business Investment Improvement Act of 2019, legislation to create oversight of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program and facilitate more early stage capital to Idaho’s small businesses. The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

Under current law, the SBIC program lacks statutory timelines for processing applications, which has caused uncertainty for funds applying to participate in the program and small businesses seeking investor capital. As a result, millions of private dollars are restricted from being invested in America’s small businesses.

This legislation will direct the SBA to approve or decline applicants within specific reasonable timelines and require Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background checks on all applicants before they can participate.

“The delays currently plaguing the SBA’s SBIC application process are preventing millions of dollars from reaching Idaho’s small businesses and hurting the applicants who must wade through many levels of bureaucracy to invest in start-ups and small businesses,” Senator Risch said. “The Small Business Investment Improvement Act will provide a common-sense solution that requires the SBA to process an application within reasonable tailored timelines.”

“This commonsense fix will facilitate a timely, tailored approach for grant applications, while maintaining proper oversight, resulting in more small business investment in our communities,” said Senator Crapo.

“We all know that when small businesses succeed, our communities succeed. Yet, so many small business owners struggle with bureaucratic red tape and unnecessary delays to receive long-term capital investments,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join Senator Risch and my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to improve the SBA’s review process and help small business owners access the funding they deserve in a timely manner.”

“The SBIC program has invested more than $451 million dollars in 135 Hoosier small businesses over the last 10 years. Delays in the application process are preventing these numbers from being even higher,” said Senator Young. “This commonsense legislation will streamline the application process, improve oversight, and ensure that the SBIC program is running as efficiently as possible so that Indiana small businesses can continue to grow.”

“Small businesses are truly the backbone West Virginia communities and communities across the country; and in a state like ours—where startup capital is harder to come by—the SBIC program plays an important role in helping them succeed,” Senator Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation will provide greater certainty to entrepreneurs and small business owners and improve a process that helps them access the investments they need to thrive.”

To learn more about the legislation, click here.

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