House Passes Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2022

If the Senate passes the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2022 (HR6445), the program will be reloaded with a $40 million annual increase.

HR 6445 would re-approve the SBDC Act of 2019 (HR 4406), which would end in 2023. If approved by the Senate, HR 6445 would run through 2025.

HR 6445 – Houses Bill Raises $40 Million SBDC Funding

SBDCs are administered by the Small Business Administration, in conjunction with state and local governments and the private sector. Currently, 900 of them are nationwide.

Small business owners can use the expertise of people at SBDCs to get help developing business plans, securing financing, learning about e-commerce, marketing, and planning for growth.

The influx of additional funds would strengthen the existing network and enable the establishment of new SBDCs.

How does that help small business owners? The SBDC Improvement Act of 2022 has some interesting changes:

Fees from Private Partnerships or Co-sponsors

An SBDC that has a private partnership or co-sponsorship may collect fees associated with the operation of such private partnerships or co-sponsorship. In other words, a small business entering into such an agreement with the SBDC can collect fees for their work.

Matching Funds

Many grants require the applicant to provide matching funds. Typically, the matching funds are due when the federal money is received. That language has been changed in HR 6445 to read “not due when federal funds are received, but necessary for final reconciliation.” In other words, you don’t need to pre-match the funds, but you should to make the grant final.

Data collection activities to be reported

The SBA will establish a Data Collection Working Group. Any recommendations should be reported to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

Marketing allowed

The SBDC can use up to 10% of its money to do marketing to reach individuals and small businesses.

Related Legislation, Women’s Business Center HR 6441, Passes House

The House also approved HR 6441. Women’s Business Center HR 6441 would allow $31.5 million each year (2022-2025) to be included in the WBC program.

Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, has sponsored both measures and chairs both.

“Small businesses of all shapes and sizes continue to feel the devastating effects of strong economic headwinds, from the highest inflation in 40 years to supply chain problems, to labor shortages that leave the country with 10.9 million open jobs; small businesses face serious economic conditions,” Davids said in her opening remarks to the House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship as the committee prepared to work on the bill. “If small business owners are able to plan with certainty and take calculated risks, our country will move forward.”

Both laws were passed in the House on April 26. For a bill to become law, it must be passed in the Senate and signed by the president.

HR 6441 Women’s Business Center gets a 20% chance of passing in the Senate.

HR 6445 SBDC Improvement Act of 2022 gets 22% chance of passing in Senate.

Why does it seem unlikely that both measures will be adopted? Several bills are currently circulating regarding the SBDC and WBC laws. While each bill has a slim chance of success, the Senate can do everything it can to combine the corresponding proposed legislation into one measure.

Image: Depositphotos

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