McMorris Rodgers’ bipartisan pro-small business bill headed to president’s desk to become law

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to improve the number of small business investment companies (SBICs) in under-licensed states, particularly her home state, received U.S. Senate approval on Dec. 6 and heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

The Spurring Business in Communities Act, H.R. 4111, which Rep. McMorris Rodgers introduced in October 2017, aims to promote small business development in eastern Washington and around the nation. The bill, which is cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 8.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing two out of every three new jobs in America and serving as a foundation for our communities,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said last week, noting that SBICs play a critical role “in providing capital and support to these job creators.”

“However, there are currently none here in Washington state,” she pointed out. “My bipartisan bill … will make it easier for them to form here in eastern Washington and invest in our community and local small businesses.”

According to a statement released on Dec. 6 by the congresswoman’s office, a Small Business Administration (SBA) report shows that SBICs reported more than $800 million in financing during the fourth quarter of 2017 and created over 16,000 jobs and financing 210 companies across the country, including 25 in low- and moderate-income areas.

H.R. 4111 will amend the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to require the SBA, in reviewing and processing an SBIC application, to give first priority to applicants located in an under-licensed state with below-median financing, meaning a state where the number of licensees per capita is less than the median number of licensees per capita for all states. The measure also will exempt SBIC applicants in under-licensed states from certain SBA capital requirements, according to a summary of the bill in the congressional record.

“This is common-sense legislation to ensure small businesses’ have access to capital and continue to create jobs for hard-working innovators,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), chairman of the U.S. House Small Business Committee. “Rep. McMorris Rodgers is listening to the needs of Washington small businesses and acting on their behalf.”

Rep. Chabot said he looked forward “to seeing H.R. 4111 signed into law so that Small Business Investment Companies can take root in underserved areas across the nation.”

When H.R. 4111 is signed into law, it will be the seventh bill sponsored by Rep. McMorris Rodgers in the last year to become a federal law.