Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) led a hearing on Thursday that reviewed federal programs that assist women, veterans, and other individuals that intend to develop a small business.
The Small Business Administration offers outreach and technical assistance to small businesses through Entrepreneurial Development programs, which provide small businesses with strategic counseling and mentoring to start, grow, and expand their operations. Four such initiatives formally exist: Small Business Development Center Programs (SBDC), the SCORE Program, the Women’s Business Center Program, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center Program. Each serves a specific need including resources for women-owned businesses, veteran entrepreneurs, and mentoring from retired or active business professionals.
Knight, who serves as Chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce, held a hearing that examined these efforts, their effects on small businesses, and how they could be improved.
“With approximately 29 million small business in the United States, the programs within the SBA must operate efficiently and swiftly as the entrepreneurs they seek to help,” Knight stated in his opening remarks.
California’s 25th Congressional District, which spans the Antelope, Santa Clarita, and Simi Valleys, is home to roughly 450 small businesses but lacks easy access to many of these resources. Knight expressed the need to improve these initiatives and make them more accessible to members of communities like those he serves. Last week he introduced the Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act of 2017, a bipartisan measure that would boost a program that increases opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and these programs have to potential to offer valuable resources for them,” said Knight. “Today’s discussion granted us helpful insight into how we can build upon these efforts and continue to assist our entrepreneurs grow and create more jobs in our community.”