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.
Small businesses are the engine of our economy, creating two out of every three new jobs in the United States. As Chairman Risch stated, since 1980, America’s SBDCs have provided these small businesses with high-quality, low- or no-cost consulting, and a variety of educational programs across the country. Together with SBA’s other resource partners–women’s business centers, veterans business outreach centers, and SCORE chapters–SBDCs have enhanced the ability of America’s small businesses to grow and create jobs.
To provide some context for what this means to our economy, the association representing SBDCs estimates that SBDC clients start a new business every 30 minutes, create a new job every 5 minutes, generate $100,000 in new sales every 7.5 minutes, and raise $100,000 in capital every 11 minutes. Job growth for SBDC clients is nearly 10 times greater than job growth for the average business.
Under the leadership of Dr. Richard Grogan, the New Hampshire SBDC State director, New Hampshire SBDCs have helped thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs realize their dreams, start new businesses, and create jobs. Last year alone, New Hampshire SBDC counseled and trained more than 2,500 businesses and assisted in the formation of more than $39 million in capital for New Hampshire’s small businesses.
For example, NH SBDC has been instrumental for Julie Lapham, the founder and chief sales officer of a startup in Dover, NH, called Popzup. Popzup is a family-owned business that provides a new popcorn product for health-conscious consumers. As Julie explained it, her local SBDC helped to prepare her for a Shark Tank-style pitch competition in which she took home a first-prize award of $10,000. They have helped her understand her financing options and continue to stay involved and support her company’s growth.
I hope my colleagues will join me and Chairman Risch in celebrating SBDC Day and acknowledging their local SBDCs for their accomplishments and the role that they play in helping small businesses create jobs.