WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives today approved the Small Business Investment Company Capital Act, H.R. 1023, legislation that expands the amount of outstanding leverage available to commonly-controlled Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) through the Small Business Administration (SBA) by $125 million, at no additional cost to taxpayers. Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) introduced the bipartisan proposal in February.
“People all over the country have jobs because SBIC partnerships with small businesses helped those businesses open their doors. Our bill makes those partnerships stronger and helps make more good-paying jobs a reality at no cost to taxpayers,” said Chairman Chabot. “I appreciate Congressman Cicilline’s work with us in getting this bill passed today, and I’m looking forward to seeing more small businesses prosper after it becomes law.”
“I am proud to join Small Business Committee Chairman Chabot to advance this commonsense legislation that will expand access to capital for small business owners,” said Cicilline. “This bipartisan legislation helps to ensure that small business owners have access to the resources they need to create good-paying jobs and expand our economy for the long-term. I urge the Senate to quickly approve this legislation and send it to President Obama for his signature.”
Congress first established the SBIC program in 1958 as a public-private partnership to ensure that American small businesses have access to a steady flow of long-term capital to support their operations. Under the program, the SBA partners with private investors to capitalize investment funds, known as SBICs, that then provide capital to small businesses. In 2013, 1,068 small businesses received financing through the SBIC program, with 30% of these businesses being in either low-to-moderate income areas, or minority- or women-owned small businesses.
The Small Business Investment Company Capital Act expands the leverage available through the SBA for two or more commonly-controlled SBICs from $225 million to $350 million each year. The legislation is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Investor Alliance.