Statement in the Congressional Record
By Senators Jim Risch and Jeanne Shaheen
Chairman and Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committe on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, on behalf of myself and my colleague Senator Shaheen, I would like to recognize the contributions made to our nation and its small businesses by the good work of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ranking Member Shaheen and I understand the impact that boosting small businesses makes, with 99.7 percent of all firms across America being small businesses and their employees making up 48 percent of the total workforce.
America’s SBDCs provide small businesses across the country with high-quality, low- or no-cost consulting, and a variety of educational programs. These centers operate in all 50 States to support an established network of small businesses while encouraging new entrepreneurs to develop and execute their unique vision, helping innovators get their own small businesses up and running.
SBDCs are successful because they provide the services of a large consulting firm on a locally scaled level in areas that may go unnoticed by other programs. They provide tailored, individualized attention to over 450,000 entrepreneurs a year, which resulted in $6.9 billion in new sales in 2015. That same year, America’s Small Business Development Centers aided in the creation of over 100,000 jobs, and the small businesses they serve averaged a growth rate of 15.5 percent, which is nearly eight times the national average.
One of many success stories that can be told is that of Velma, a marketing software firm in Nampa, ID. Founded in 2006, the firm focused on empowering loan officers to create stronger relationships through a customized direct email program. The recession of 2008 hit Velma hard, and in 2010, the company entered into the SBDC business accelerator program. The structure of the program provided organizational discipline, and the firm pivoted to providing email marketing for mortgage companies. Since the firm began participating in the accelerator program, Velma has quadrupled its employees and created a sustained positive cash flow.
It is a privilege for my colleague and I to recognize SBDC Day today, March 22, 2017, and we wish them continued success as they work to support the next generation of America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, it is a privilege to join Chairman Risch as we celebrate the first ever Small Business Development Center Day, which will unite the more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers, SBDCs, across the country with the hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs they have assisted in their 37-year history. (more…)