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- NEWS | WH Accelerating Infrastructure Virtual Summit
The Summit will feature announcements to accelerate the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The White House will be holding its first virtual Accelerating Infrastructure Summit tomorrow, October 13, from 8:30 – 12:30 Eastern. The Summit will explore how the Biden Administration plans to execute the recently-enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIF), which designates a record $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending, including updates to transportation networks, expansion of high-speed internet access, and investment into American clean energy production. You are invited to join Biden-Harris Administration officials, elected leaders from state and local governments, and leaders from academia, labor, and trade associations at this virtual Summit. Click here to register and receive your Zoom meeting credentials.
- NEWS | SBA Establishing a New Office for Small U.S. Manufacturers
SBA recognizes small U.S. manufacturers’ contributions to expand our country’s capacity and economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is establishing a Manufacturing Office to help small U.S. manufacturers continue to commercialize innovation, automate processes, enter new markets, and contribute to the resiliency of the U.S. economy. According to SBA data, more than 50,000 manufacturers benefit from SBA support, including by increased means of selling to the federal government, purchasing and upgrading equipment, and expanding or renovating facilities, to name a few of its benefits. The new SBA Manufacturing Office will also provide government contracting assistance programs, as well as support for minority business owners and manufacturers. If you’d like more information on how to connect with SBA’s new Manufacturing Office, follow NSBA and read more here.
- PRESS | NSBA Releases New Survey on Business Planning & Digital Utilization
“The pandemic forced businesses to work in ways we’d never even considered...." FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 11, 2022 Contact: Molly Day 202-552-2904 email@example.com NSBA Releases New Survey on Business Planning & Digital Utilization Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Small Business Association (NSBA) is releasing a new survey of small business about business planning and succession, their utilization of digital tools and what it means to be a small-business owner in today’s world. Among the key findings: just over half of small-business owners have a plan to pass on or sell their business when they retire, and nearly half of small-business owners say a merger or acquisition is important to their business exit strategy. “After the last three years, small-business owners have taken stock of where their business is and where it’s headed,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “The overwhelming majority of small businesses are the original founder of their business and play a very hands-on role, from personally writing the business plan to identifying a family member or staff member to take on the business when they retire.” When it comes to exit strategies, mergers and acquisitions are an important piece of the plan. Nearly half of small-business owners, 43 percent, say a merger or acquisition is important to their business exit strategy. Asked about digital tools, small-business owners reported high utilization rates of a variety of digital tools and platforms. “The pandemic forced businesses to work in ways we’d never even considered and the utilization of digital tools, particularly for remote work, is what kept millions of small businesses afloat,” NSBA Chair Mike Stanek of Hunt Imaging, LLC in Berea, Ohio. “The majority of small firms say that digital tools have contributed to the growth of their business and nine-in-ten have a positive view of the tech sector.” This survey was conducted online among 523 small businesses across the country May 23 – June 27. We hope you find the data in this report useful. Please contact the NSBA media affairs department with questions. Please click here to download the full report. Celebrating 85 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA's 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz or @NSBAAdvocate. ####
- PRESS | NSBA Member Spotlight: Mr. Manolo Betancur
An employer and provider, Mr. Betancur bakes to change the world. The motto at Manolo’s Latin Bakery in Charlotte, North Carolina, is simple: “Our bread. Our People. Our Future.” Since founding the neighborhood institution over 25 years ago, NSBA member Manolo Betancur has become Charlotte’s premier purveyor of Hispanic baked goods. Today, Mr. Betancur serves breads and cakes originating from Mexico to Argentina, so “everyone has a chance to taste their home and their culture.” Despite the demands of operating a successful bakery, Mr. Betancur is also a tireless community leader and humanitarian. During the height of the COVID pandemic, Manolo’s Bakery donated thousands of cakes to Charlotteans who couldn’t afford birthday or anniversary celebrations. Stepping up to help with humanitarian crises close to home and across the world, Mr. Betancur is currently spearheading an effort to build a new bakery in Ukraine, where the war is limiting the luxury of a strong and secure community many Americans enjoy and have never contemplated existing without. A pillar of his philosophy in his service through small business ownership, Mr. Betancur said he knows firsthand the power of coming together and breaking bread for how it can work to resolve conflict – a piece of which he is working to bring to the people in paths of geopolitical uncertainty by providing food and baked goods and supporting productive ends to conflicts by any means feasible. Mr. Betancur is also a dedicated advocate for immigration reform, using his bakery as a symbol of the strength and ingenuity of America’s immigrants. For his efforts, the International Baking Industry Expo named Betancur a 2021 “World Bread Awards Hero.” Mr. Betancur credits his business for giving him the platform to be a changemaker. When asked what his business means to him and his humanitarian work, Betancur simply said, “Everything.” Click here to read more about Manolo’s delicious and inspiring story in Charlotte Magazine, and join NSBA as we celebrate Mr. Betancur during this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month and his work every day for small business: nsba.biz/join
- NEWS | Six Small Business Bills Advance in the Senate
NSBA is always glad to see unanimous, nonpartisan support for strengthening small business. Working hard before its midterm fall break, last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship unanimously passed a panel of six bills aimed at investing in small business and improving the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said the bills are aimed at addressing several “critical areas of concern,” including disaster assistance, access to broadband, and protection from cyber threats. The six bills passed without any objections, and summary descriptions are as follows: S. 1617, the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act | Introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Mike Braun (R-In), the bill would amend the SBA’s threshold for disaster declarations, allowing the administrator to issue a disaster declaration for rural communities included in a Presidential public assistance-only disaster declaration. Under the bill, the governor of the state must request the declaration, and at least one homeowner, small business, or nonprofit must have experienced significant damage. The bill passed the committee on Feb. 15, 2022. S. 1687, the Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2021 | Introduced by Sens. Shaheen and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), this bill would create a program to train counselors at SBDCs to provide cybersecurity guidance to small business owners. The committee approved the bill on May 18, 2022. S. 3906, the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Technology Enhancement Act | Introduced by Sens. Shaheen and Kennedy, the bill would equip the SBA with the leadership and resources necessary to help small businesses access broadband internet; it was passed by the committee on May 18. H.R. 4877, the One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act | Introduced in Congress by Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas), the bill would require the SBA to maintain a website with hyperlinks to the small business compliance guides of each federal agency, as well as the relevant points of contact for the guides. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jacky Rosen (D-Neb.), and Shaheen introduced the Senate companion, which cleared the committee on May 18. H.R. 3462, the SBA Cyber Awareness Act | Introduced by Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Young Kim (R-Calif.), this bill would require the SBA to: 1) assess its cybersecurity procedures; 2) develop and annually report to Congress its cybersecurity strategy; and 3) implement a notification system to alert Congress and all affected parties in the event of a cyber-breach. The committee passed the bill on February 15. Sen. Rubio sponsored the senate companion. S. 2521, the SBIC Advisory Committee Act of 2022 | Introduced by Chair Cardin and Sen. Risch, this bill would establish an advisory committee to develop recommendations for increasing demographic and geographic diversity in SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program. Under the legislation, an advisory committee would be required to submit a report to Congress with recommendations on how to expand SBIC access to underserved communities within 18 months. The bill cleared the committee on February 15. For some context, in 2021, SBICs made 1,063 investments in small businesses, of which only 55, or five percent, were owned by women, veterans, or minorities. Twenty percent, or 224 , of these categorized small businesses were headquartered in low- and moderate-income communities. These bills will now move to the larger Senate for consideration, where very limited legislative calendar time poses high hurdles for expedient passage. Follow @NSBAAdvocate, share your small business story with our staff and your Members of Congress– especially if there may be tangible or indirect effects of these bills on your bottom line, and check back here as NSBA tracks the latest on these legislative proposals from Capitol Hill.
- NEWS | Cybersecurity an All-Time High Priority for Gov, Businesses
With growing concerns of cyberattacks worldwide, at home, small businesses should take steps to protect themselves. Amidst cyberattacks worldwide, the U.S. government is noticeably increasing its efforts to proactively support parties to protect themselves – including small businesses. The threat for cyberattacks is ubiquitous. From energy, to infrastructure, health care, and everywhere between, companies should note the enhanced efforts from lawmakers to address these problems, including creating legislation to help federal agencies and small businesses create plans to prevent hacks and commit to strong cyber hygiene, including regularly updating, encrypting sensitive data, and limiting administrative log-ins. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) is asking his committee to consider his legislation to update the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) with an intent to mitigate security vulnerabilities. While the partisan gap is very much alive and well, some provisions in the Peters bill are the source of some debate, Peters’ committee isn’t all contention: Members recently approving H.R. 6824, a bill to codify CISA’s annual cybersecurity competition recognizing government employees for enacting best cybersecurity practices and discipline. Looking to join in on the efforts to encourage companies and constituents to square up plans and defenses from hacks, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting an inaugural Small Business Cyber Summit October 26. Held during Cybersecurity Month, NSBA is looking forward to the success of this SBA summit, and is proud to work with partners, like CrowdStrike, an industry leader offering high level security to small businesses—and great discounts for NSBA members. For more information on how to protect your small business, connect with NSBA.
- NEWS | Congress Passes CR Funding
President Biden signed the CR into effect after House passage on Sept. 30, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. Funding is fulfilled through Dec. 16, when lawmakers will once again have to address this fiscal priority. SEPT. 30 | This afternoon, the House voted to advance a 10-week stopgap funding bill to fund the government with a continuing resolution (CR) through Dec. 16, 2022, by a party line vote of 230-201. 72-25. The vote comes after the Senate passed the bill 72-25, clearing a procedural hurdle earlier this week for advancement when Senator J0e Manchin of West Virginia (D) requested his special interest project to expedite permitting for energy projects be removed from the CR text. In addition to providing federal solvency (at least on paper) and keeping the government open beyond this weekend, the text includes provisions $12.4 billion in aid to Ukraine – nearly $1 billion more than requested by the President. With the legislation on its way to the White House, lawmakers will have less than three months to agree on a funding plan for the federal government following their return from midterms this November. Biden’s requests for $22.4 billion to COVID resources and $4.5 billion to respond to monkeypox cases were not addressed in the legislation poised for a vote this evening, and, while Democrats claim the bill as a great reflection of bipartisanship, its final terms remain largely uncertain. Follow @NSBAAdvocate and check back here for the latest.
- PRESS | Lawmakers Pass SBIR Bill – A Win for Small Business
SBIR/STTR renewed through 2025. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 29, 2022 Contact: Molly Day 202-552-2904 firstname.lastname@example.org Lawmakers Passes SBIR Bill – A Win for Small Business Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Senate-passed legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for three years. Following a highly contentious process in the Senate, lawmakers’ last-minute efforts to extend the program finally came to fruition just days prior to the Sept. 30 deadline. “The House and Senate did right by small business in passing this important legislation and avoiding a catastrophic program shut-down for SBIR and STTR,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “Despite some differences in what NSBA sought and this final package, small-business innovators can get on about their business creating and innovating to best serve the federal government.” NSBA and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) has been instrumental in helping to negotiate and move forward reauthorizing language to prevent a program shutdown. Despite fully supporting passage of the final compromise bill, NSBA and SBTC were pushing for a permanent reauthorization and worked tirelessly to remove language requiring new reporting that large companies and universities are free of when it comes to federal innovation programs. “We have worked closely with lawmakers on this bill for months, and in the decades I’ve been working with the SBIR/STTR programs, never have we experienced a more difficult reauthorization process,” stated Jere Glover, Executive Director of SBTC. “There were many members of Congress who deserve thanks and appreciation for their efforts, but I want to particularly applaud Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-Mo.) for their leadership and willingness to compromise to ensure the stability and long-term success of this program.” Celebrating 85 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. SBTC is a council of NSBA and focuses on critical high-tech and innovation programs through the federal government. NSBA and SBTC’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz or @NSBAAdvocate. ###
- NEWS | SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Crucial to Small Business
Passage this afternoon is a win for NSBA, our 65,000+ members, and small business owners nationwide. This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Senate-passed legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for three years. Following a highly contentious process in the Senate, lawmakers’ last-minute efforts to extend the program finally came to fruition just days prior to the September 30 deadline. “The House and Senate did right by small business in passing this important legislation and avoiding a catastrophic program shut-down for SBIR and STTR,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “Despite some differences in what NSBA sought and this final package, small-business innovators can get on about their business creating and innovating to best serve the federal government.” NSBA and the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) have been instrumental in helping to negotiate and move forward reauthorizing language to prevent a program shutdown. Despite fully supporting passage of the final compromise bill, NSBA and SBTC were pushing for a permanent reauthorization and worked tirelessly to remove language requiring new reporting that large companies and universities are free of when it comes to federal innovation programs. Last week, the Senate passed the bill, clearing the biggest hurdle for reauthorization. Introduced by Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.), S. 4900 will extend the programs for three years, moving the expiration date to Sept. 30, 2025. It also makes changes to the program that focus on research security, protecting SBIR technology from theft by China and other adversarial governments, and increased standards for Phase 1 to 2 transition and Commercialization for multiple award winners. Specifically, there will be an increase in reporting requirements and paperwork burden imposed by the research security provisions that firms will need to be aware of. In addition, firms with over 50 Phase 1 awards over the past five years will need to show a 50 percent transition rate to Phase 2. Firms with 50 Phase 2 awards over the past 10 years will need to show $250,000 in sales or investment for every Phase 2, and Firms with over 100 Phase 2 awards over the past 10 years will need to show $450,000 in sales or investment for every Phase 2. The consequence for missing these benchmarks will be a limit of 20 Phase 1 awards and Direct to Phase 2 awards per year. “We have worked closely with lawmakers on this bill for months, and in the decades I’ve been working with the SBIR/STTR programs, never have we experienced a more difficult reauthorization process,” stated Jere Glover, Executive Director of SBTC. “There were many members of Congress who deserve thanks and appreciation for their efforts, but I want to particularly applaud Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-Mo.) for their leadership and willingness to compromise to ensure the stability and long-term success of this program.” NSBA and SBTC will continue to work with federal agencies as the new reporting requirements are put into effect, and plan to provide training and resources to members on how to best comply with the new rules under the program. Stay tuned for details. Read the full text and summary here: S. 4900 SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 Bill Text S. 4900 Section-by-Section Summary If you’re new to the SBIR/STTR discussion, check out the video below from Charles Wessner, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a trusted resource. Wessner recently explained the benefits of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the risks of ending it and China’s involvement:
- NEWS | Senate Passes CR Funding
The legislation now moves to the House, where lawmakers have until late Friday night to act. SEPT. 29 | This afternoon, the Senate voted to advance a 10-week stopgap funding bill to fund the government with a continuing resolution (CR) through Dec. 16, 2022, by a vote of 72-25. This vote comes after the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle earlier this week for advancement when Senator J0e Manchin of West Virginia (D) requested his special interest project to expedite permitting for energy projects be removed from the CR text. In addition to providing federal solvency (at least on paper) and keeping the government open beyond this weekend, the text includes provisions $12.4 billion in aid to Ukraine – nearly $1 billion more than requested by the President. With the legislation on its way to the House, lawmaker have until Friday night to pass the stopgap legislation. Biden’s requests for $22.4 billion to COVID resources and $4.5 billion to respond to monkeypox cases were not addressed in the legislation poised for a vote this evening, and, while Democrats claim the bill as a great reflection of bipartisanship, its final terms remain largely uncertain. Delays from infighting over special interests for a pipeline project in West Virginia in the Senate aside, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is prepared to have the House move quickly on the stopgap bill: “We are prepared to take it up,” Pelosi said in a press conference last week. “We have same-day authority already built in, so we don’t have to delay it in any way for procedural purposes.” Follow @NSBAAdvocate and check back here for the latest.
- NEWS | New CTA Regs, Same Bad Policy
FinCEN Releases Final CTA Regulations SEPT 29 | This morning, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released the final rule regarding required reporting under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) or “Beneficial Ownership” law passed by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in Dec. 2020. The law requires certain LLCs and small companies to continually report to FinCEN all beneficial owners’ personally identifiable information, which is then posted on a public database. The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, making no changes significant to make it palatable to small business. This portion of the regulations governing the CTA embody the intent of the law—something NSBA ardently opposed every step of the way. According to NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken, “There simply is no way even significant changes in the regulations for the Corporate Transparency Act could remedy what was and will be bad policy. The regulations still target only small businesses, still require burdensome, duplicative paperwork, and still fail to require federal agencies to share information they’re already collecting.” Affected companies created prior to enactment of the regulations’ effective date will have one year to report, while companies formed after Jan. 1, 2024, will have just 30 days to file their reports. Subsequently, companies will have 30 days to file updated reports upon any changes in their beneficial ownership. This first rule from FinCEN is just one of three to implement the CTA. Up next: a rule governing who may access this information and how to safeguard it, as well as updates to FinCEN’s customer due diligence rules. While the regulations do not cover penalties given the law’s specificity, it is important to note that failure to comply would be a federal crime with civil penalties of $500 per day up to $10,000 and criminal penalties of up to two years in prison. NSBA supports common-sense efforts to stem money laundering, these changes to the CTA requiring duplicative disclosures are the wrong way to do it, especially since the information is already being collected. The goal of lawmakers could easily be achieved through a simple mandate requiring federal agencies to share information. Instead, small businesses have been targeted and will bear significant burdens once again due to a lapse in effective governing. Check out the FinCEN Fact Sheet and this recent article from the Wall Street Journal featuring insight from NSBA.
- NEWS | Congressional Concerns for IRS Funding Continue to Grow
NSBA stands by common sense policies that are both functional and practical. Late last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced his desire to see a roll back in the $80 billion funding recently allotted to the IRS, citing concerns IRS will unfairly target certain groups, including small business. Passed as part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, IRS officials have repeatedly ensured the enhanced funding will not be used to unduly target individuals or small businesses. While NSBA acknowledges these assurances, formalized safeguards guaranteeing these extra funds to the IRS will not affect families or small business – those with less ability to defend themselves against intensive IRS inquiries – will provide much-needed confidence to small-business owners. According to Politico, the IRS has projected that it would hire 87,000 new employees over a decade with its extra funding; however, given sharp partisanship stretching from Capitol Hill to the White House, there’s essentially zero chance President Biden would approve any bill targeting the IRS’ new funds. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee wrote a letter to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig last week asking for further details on how the agency planned to spend the $80 billion it is scheduled to receive over the next decade. NSBA has been outspoken that efforts to close the so-called “tax gap” do not unduly burden small business through ramped-up enforcement at the cost of improved compliance assistance. The IRS must focus their efforts and research to better identify noncompliant taxpayers, enhance taxpayer services to inform taxpayers of correct tax obligations and adjust its enforcement tools to target those who intentionally evade paying taxes. Adding new burdens and requirements on small businesses already struggling to do the right thing is simply the wrong answer. Follow NSBA for the latest on small business tax policy from Washington, read the full 10-page letter from Senate Republicans here, and download NSBA’s latest issue brief here.