Small Business Legislation UpdateNovember 4, 2021
Recently, several bills affecting small businesses passed the House floor. On Oct. 20, the Guidance Clarity Act passed the House with unanimous support. On Nov. 2, the House took up six bipartisan Small Business Committee bills on the suspension calendar. Each of the bills was reported out of the Committee in July and passed the floor with bipartisan support.
- The Guidance Clarity Act (H.R. 1508): ensures that the first page of guidance documents issued from a federal agency includes a plain language statement, which declares that guidance is not law and it cannot be legally enforced as law. Since the federal government produces a large amount of rules, regulations and laws every year, it is crucial that individuals and small businesses can easily understand which guidance applies to them. This short first-page statement clarifies for citizens and regulators that guidance is meant to be helpful. This bill will help regulators execute their jobs more efficiently and help small businesses continue to create jobs and grow the economy, without having to hire teams of lawyers to understand the regulations that apply to them.
- Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act of 2021 (H.R. 3469): authorizes the Boots to Business program for five years. The program helps transitioning service members start and grow their businesses. It will help equip veterans with the resources they need to become successful business owners and entrepreneurs.
- SBA Cyber Awareness Act (H.R. 3462): expands the cybersecurity operations of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It requires the SBA to issue a report assessing the agency’s ability to combat cyber threats within six months of being passed. It also requires the agency to notify Congress of future breaches, including the information on those affected and how the breach occurred.
- Small Business Development Center Cyber Training Act of 2021 (H.R. 4515): establishes a cyber counseling certification program in Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to provide free, specific, cyber training for small businesses.
- Investing in Main Street Act of 2021 (H.R. 4256: amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to increase the percentage of capital and surplus that a federal savings association or a bank can invest in Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs). The percentage increase would then match the current banking regulations.
- Small Business 7(a) Loan Agent Transparency Act (H.R. 4481): provides oversight to 7(a) loan agents by requiring the SBA to establish a registration system for those agents.
- 7(a) Loan Agent Oversight Act (H.R. 4531): requires the SBA to submit an annual report on specified information related to 7(a) loan agents.