Luetkemeyer Introduces IMPROVE the SBA Act
Washington, April 28, 2022
Tags: Small Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Ranking Member on the House Small Business Committee released the following statement on the introduction of his bill, the IMPROVE the SBA Act.
“I often say when our small businesses are strong, our economy is strong because our small businesses and entrepreneurs are our nation’s primary job creators. They are the engine of this nation’s economy. For well over a year now, small businesses have been under siege from record-high inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions.
“Due to the pandemic, the Small Business Administration has been given an oversized role in the management of emergency relief programs. Through oversight, we have discovered the SBA is fraught with fraud, delays, and mismanagement. We have also seen the SBA shift away from its core mission of serving small businesses to instead advancing the current administration’s political agenda. While House Democrats continue to tax and spend in Washington, Committee Republicans have solutions to support Main Street USA.
“To combat the SBA’s fraud and mismanagement, as well as the onslaught of burdensome regulations, I have introduced the IMPROVE the SBA Act. This bill provides much-needed accountability and oversight over the SBA, enhances private sector lending, empowers entrepreneurs through counseling, and supports small businesses in federal contracting.
“America’s small businesses are overdue for the necessary support they deserve. The SBA needs to be revamped to best support our entrepreneurs through pro-growth policies and the removal of burdensome red tape. The IMPROVE the SBA Act will do just that,” said Ranking Member Luetkemeyer.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating two out of three new jobs. However, of the small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, only 13 percent have fully recovered, according to the latest Job Creators Network Foundation’s (JCNF) Small Business IQ monthly poll. Inflation is a growing menace, with small businesses disproportionately impacted by the highest inflation rate in four decades. The Small Business Administration plays a critical role in aiding our 90-million strong small business community. However, it's not living up to its full potential. Common-sense reforms are needed, and that's why the IMPROVE the SBA Act is so important. Job Creators Network fully supports this bill and we thank the Republicans on the House Small Business Committee for introducing it,”said Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network.
“As the U.S. economy works to heal from the broad effects of the pandemic and as small business owners continue their relentless grind under the weight of onerous inflation, labor and supply chain challenges, and economic and policy uncertainties, it is more important than ever that federal resources directed to assist entrepreneurs are deployed efficiently and focused on their relevant needs. Key titles within the ‘IMPROVE the SBA Act’ should be embraced by both political parties, as improving SBA operations and efficacy means America’s small business community will be more effectively served.
“SBE Council is grateful for Rep. Luetkemeyer’s bold reform blueprint, and we believe its focus on ensuring sound management practices at the SBA, increasing oversight and transparency, and addressing the most critical needs of small businesses, as well as the needs of rural small businesses, are practical measures that benefit entrepreneurs and taxpayers alike. We look forward to working with Ranking Member Luetkemeyer and all members of the committee on improving the SBA so that America’s small business community is better served during this challenging economic period, and beyond,” said Karen Kerrigan, CEO of the SBE Council.
“ICBA and the nation’s community banks thank Ranking Member Luetkemeyer for introducing the IMPROVE the SBA Act. Title II specifically would prohibit a potential SBA direct 7(a) Loan program and bring key reforms to the SBA disaster lending programs. Direct lending is a poor and costly alternative to private sector lending and would reach fewer borrowers. Today, there is a strong network of community banks, Community Development Financial Institutions, and other lenders already in place to meet demand for small business borrowers. ICBA looks forward to working with Ranking Member Luetkemeyer to maximize the effectiveness of the SBA’s vital small business loan programs,” said Paul Merski, Group Executive Vice President, Congressional Relations & Strategy for the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Read the full bill text HERE.