Says Chairman Rogers Williams of Texas in yesterday’s hearing.
Owning your own small business is one of the most rewarding careers in America. You get to put your time and effort into something that you are passionate about and fulfills a need in the marketplace.
We all know that to be a successful small business owner, you do not need government assistance.
However, for some people that don’t know where to begin their entrepreneurial journey, the SBA can help. Through a network of resource partners, the SBA offers assistance to businesses in all stages of their lifecycle.
Since we are spending taxpayer dollars on providing these resources to entrepreneurs, it is our duty to make sure these programs are operating effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, we have seen the SBA stray away from programs that have a known track record of success.
For example, in 2021, the Small Business Development Center Program assisted over 306,000 clients at roughly $400 dollars per client. During the same time period, the Community Navigator program assisted 16,312 clients, at over $7,000 dollars per business helped.
The metrics of these two programs speak for themselves: one of these programs is simply not worth the money.
However, in President Biden’s 2024 Budget Request, the SBA wants to take funds away from the SBDC program and give to the Community Navigator program.
Outside of just the Community Navigators program, I hope that we can learn about the general structure of many of the other Entrepreneurial Development programs offered by the Agency. I want to know how the programming being offered by Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE Program, and Regional Innovation Clusters are serving different needs.
We have seen multiple OIG reports highlighting the duplicative nature of some of these programs, and it is our duty to evaluate how these resources can be best tailored to service our nation’s small businesses.
I am eager to hear today how SBA’s resource partners are advising our nation’s small businesses on how to deal with these various challenges.
As a Committee, we remain focused on putting Main Street America first.