Expanded AEO Micro Bill Introduced

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced the “Community Lending and Small Business Jobs Act of 2013,” legislation that will open new avenues for microbusinesses to access capital and business support services to grow their firms.

Citing the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s (AEO) Power of One in Three Report, Congressman Richmond said, “There is a continuing shortage of capital investment in underserved areas.”  Adding, “Families and small businesses in these areas have for generations been unable to access affordable credit.”

Congressman Richmond’s bill would address the needs of small and microbusinesses, as well as those of young entrepreneurs, by giving the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund new tools to help small businesses access capital and counseling.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Direct unused and repaid funds from the Department of Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund into a new Small Business Capital Investment Program for capital investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), increasing the availability of credit for small businesses.
  • Enhance the SBA’s Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME) by designating a higher percentage of business assistance for low-income individuals as well as improving the ability for the SBA to waive the matching requirement associated with the PRIME program.  It would also require the SBA to study the application and grant award process.
  • Establish a Microbusiness Coordinator position at the SBA, charged with coordinating all microbusiness credit and business assistance programs and creating an online portal for entrepreneurs to access that information.
  • Create a Youth Entrepreneurship Program at the SBA to provide new tools and education to entrepreneurs younger than age 25.

Connie Evans, AEO’s President & CEO said, “This bill will improve access to microbusiness programs for microbusiness development organizations, CDFIs, and entrepreneurs alike.”  Evans added, “We are extremely excited to be working with Congressman Richmond once again and to have his support on these very important issues.”

AEO strongly supports the “Community Lending and Small Business Jobs Act of 2013” and looks forward to working with Congressman Richmond in the coming weeks and months to enact this important legislation.

Read the full text of the Community Lending and Small Business Jobs Act of 2013.