This week, Congress passed an important bill for small businesses.  The “Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act” [pdf here] modernizes key job-creating entrepreneurial development programs within the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Given our current economic climate, it is more important now than ever before to improve and update the assistance that the SBA provides to our nation’s entrepreneurs.  This bill will help small businesses do what they do best: create jobs.

The legislative package, comprised of seven bipartisan bills, marks the first overhaul of the SBA’s entrepreneurial development programs in a decade. The measure expands proven programs like Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and improves cross-program coordination for maximum benefit.  The bill also creates new support services for veteran-owned and Native American-owned small businesses.  In addition, new online learning programs are included in the bill to help entrepreneurs in rural regions and underserved communities.

These updates to SBA’s entrepreneurship programs are long overdue. The Small Business Committee has been working on updating these programs since I first became a member of the committee in 2003.  Organizations like our nation’s Small Business Development Centers do outstanding work, and this bill will make sure that they can continue to offer first class assistance to our state’s entrepreneurs.  I am pleased that we are one step closer to making these much needed improvements, and I urge the Senate to act soon so that we can get a bill to the President’s desk.