Fitzpatrick proposes cybersecurity loans for nation’s small businesses

Eligible small businesses would receive loan guarantees for their purchases and installation of cybersecurity technology and services under a new bipartisan bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

“This bipartisan legislation is a crucial step toward ensuring small businesses in our communities have the tools and training to protect themselves, and their customers, from cyberattacks,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said.

The congressman on Oct. 30 cosponsored the Small Business Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, H.R. 4915, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to bolster cyber protections for America’s small businesses and their operational and customer information.

“As a former FBI Special Agent, I understand that cybersecurity is a complex and serious national and economic security issue that our country will continue to face over the decades to come,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “As such, we need to take action now to ensure we’re protecting our nation’s infrastructure and businesses.”

If enacted, H.R. 4915 would provide a loan guarantee program for small businesses, which are defined as having 100 or fewer employees, in business for at least one year, and has obtained training from a small business development center, according to the text of the bill.

Up to 90 percent of the loan amount made to an eligible small business would be guaranteed for the purchase and installation of cybersecurity technology and services for use in the business operations of the eligible small business, according to the bill’s text, with the maximum amount of the principal of a loan not to exceed $50,000 and the aggregate total amount of the principal of loans not to exceed $5 million.

The bill has been referred to the U.S. House Small Business Committee for consideration.