Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Votes to Bolster Funding for Small Businesses

Congressman supports women’s entrepreneurship

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), October 23, 2019

Washington, D.C.-- Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) voted to pass four bipartisan bills that increase funding for Women’s Business Centers, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program and strengthen Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). These critical SBA entrepreneurial initiatives spur business formation, job creation, and will bring sustained economic growth to Texas’s 28th Congressional District.

“Small businesses are the backbone of this country. I myself have started, sustained, and maintained my own small business and am well aware of how difficult it is for millions of Americans who want to be their own boss,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Forty five percent of Texas employees, over 4.7 million people, work for small businesses in our state. It is crucial that Congress remain above partisanship and pass common-sense economic policies like these to invest in our nation’s future. I will continue to champion small businesses, entrepreneurship, and support women in business.”

H.R. 4405, “Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act of 2019”

H.R. 4405 will authorize funding for the WBC program for four years at $31.5 million for each year. For the first time since the program’s creation, this bill would raise the cap on individual center grants to $300,000 and index for inflation. The bill also establishes an accreditation program, a constructive and transparent process for new center locations, and requires an annual report be submitted by the SBA to Congress to analyze the effectiveness of the program. 

H.R. 4406, “Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2019”

This bill will modernize and strengthen the SBDC network, which is the largest of SBA’s resource partners and consists of 63 lead organizations and over 900 centers. H.R. 4406 would authorize $175 million per year in funding for the SBDC program for four years. Additionally, the bill requires SBA to submit an annual report to Congress disclosing performance metrics and operating standards of the program. It also would allow SBDCs to market and advertise, expanding the public awareness and reach of the program.

H.R. 4407, “SCORE for Small Business Act of 2019”

This legislation will increase transparency and accountability within the SCORE program by implementing safeguards that incorporate recommendations made by a 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. The bill would require SCORE to follow federal competitive award procedures and obtain prior approval by SBA for certain contracts. It would also target financial compensation by prohibiting employees and members of the Board of Directors from receiving compensation from both organizations or serving on dual boards without consent from the SBA. The bill also requires an annual performance report on the SCORE program be submitted to Congress by the SBA.

H.R. 4387, “To establish Growth Accelerator Fund Competition within the Small Business Administration, and for other purposes”

This bill will codify the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for four years and authorize $2 million in funds per year. The bill would boost a program created in 2014 to give early-stage entrepreneurs opportunities for mentorship, financing, and education. In its fifth round of funding, the competition brings together the nation’s most innovative small businesses and startups to compete for prizes of $50,000 each.