New Legislation to Improve Program Involving Mentoring and Assistance for Small Businesses

Meineke

U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Ben Cardin today introduced a bill that would help with the annual in-person mentoring, online training, and local training workshops SCORE provides to small businesses. The SCORE for Small Business Act would reauthorize and improve the SCORE program, which Cardin says is one of the Small Business Administration’s impactful entrepreneurial development programs, providing mentors and training opportunities for nearly 146,000 unique clients, and helping start more than 3,000 new businesses in 2021 alone.

More Information from the Press Release:

U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), today introduced the SCORE for Small Business Act, legislation that would reauthorize and improve the SCORE program to help with the annual in-person mentoring, online training, and local training workshops SCORE provides to small businesses. Senator Cardin is chairman, and Senator Coons is a member, of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

“Delaware’s small businesses drive the First State’s economy, and federal programs like SCORE help them grow, thrive, and create good-paying jobs,” said Senator Coons. “Despite the pandemic and global supply chain disruptions, business owners and workers have worked with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) SCORE program and its thousands of volunteers to plan, launch, and expand their businesses. This bill would reauthorize this important program with more funding and make improvements so it continues to provide crucial guidance to small businesses across the country.”

“The SCORE program is one of SBA’s impactful entrepreneurial development programs, providing mentors and training opportunities for 145,838 unique clients, and helping start more than 3,000 new businesses in 2021 alone,” said Chairman Cardin. “Yet, SCORE has not received the place in statute that it deserves. This bill is essential to providing the oversight needed to keep this program running smoothly, and serving our entrepreneurs in Maryland, and beyond. I am proud to cosponsor the SCORE for Small Business Act of 2022, with my friend and fellow committee member, Senator Coons.”

“On behalf of SCORE’s 10,000 volunteer mentors, we greatly appreciate the Small Business Committee’s support in reauthorizing the SCORE program at an $18 million appropriation. This reauthorization provides enthusiastic recognition of the significant positive impact SCORE has had on American small businesses, and serves as a testament to SCORE’s strong culture of compliance and good stewardship of the federal dollar,” said SCORE.

The SBA currently provides funds to SCORE to provide in-person mentoring, online training, and nearly 9,000 local training workshops annually for small businesses. SCORE’s more than 250 chapters are located throughout the entire United States and Puerto Rico. SCORE partners with more than 10,000 volunteer counselors, who are working or retired business owners, executives, and corporate leaders, to provide training assistance to small businesses at no charge or low cost.

The SCORE for Small Business Act would reauthorize the SCORE program and officially change the name from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to the SCORE program. This bill would also expand SCORE’s online counseling services to further support entrepreneurs. The bill establishes accounting standards for SCORE, requires a documented compensation policy for SCORE employees, institutes whistleblower protections, and mandates that SCORE provides three annual policy reports to Congress for oversight.

In September, Senator Coons introduced legislation to help small businesses hire new employees and support aspiring entrepreneurs with the Supporting Small Business Career and Technical Education Act. In the same month, he also introduced legislation to ensure small businesses have access to low-cost, fixed-rate, long-term loans with the 504 Loan Availability Act.

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