Gluesenkamp Perez Leads Bipartisan Effort to Support Small Business Development Centers

May 08, 2024

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), along with Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), led 73 of their bipartisan colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in Fiscal Year 2025.

SBDCs are a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 local centers, staffed by business advisors and trainers, operating from colleges, universities, and selected economic development agencies.

In 2022, SBDCs helped businesses generate $8.4 billion in sales and create over 83,000 new jobs. In addition, SBDC clients created nearly 14,000 new businesses. By helping businesses succeed, SBDCs pay for themselves. In 2022, each dollar appropriated for SBDCs generated $1.61 in federal revenue.

In the letter, the lawmakers emphasized the critical role of SBDCs and urged the committee to provide $160 million for the SBDC program.

“When you’re running a small business, it can be hard enough to keep the wheels on the bus, let alone navigate red tape or plan for the future,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “Small Business Development Centers assist prospective business owners and ensure existing small businesses have the tools they need to be successful. By fully funding these vital resources, we can help economies across Southwest Washington thrive.”

Before coming to Congress, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez operated an auto repair and machine shop, so she knows how important it is to ensure small businesses can access the resources they need for success. It’s why she held a small business resource fair in March to connect local business owners with resources, including Washington SBDC.

The Congresswoman introduced bipartisan legislation to help small businesses recruit career and technical education graduates and help them start their own businesses. Her bipartisan bill passed the House Small Business Committee last year to ensure women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and small disadvantaged businesses are given a fair shot competing for federal contracts.

“The SBDCs in our districts are highly effective at helping local small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed [in] creating jobs and growing the economy,” wrote the lawmakers. “Therefore, we urge the Committee to include $160 million for the SBDC program [in Fiscal Year 2025]. This appropriation will be matched more than one-to one by state, local, and private funds, allowing SBDCs to serve more clients and increasing the breadth of services available, including navigating international trade and enhancing cybersecurity.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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