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SBA Rural Performance Report Act passes House

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Rural Performance Report Act, sponsored by Missouri Congressman Mark Alford, passed the United States House of Representatives yesterday by a unanimous voice vote. 

“Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of this nation and right now, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is not doing enough to support rural small business owners. That is exactly why we wrote The SBA Rural Performance Report Act,” Alford said. 

The act aims to create more transparency between small business owners in rural areas and the SBA, specifically its Office of Rural Affairs (ORA). The bill would require two reports from the SBA. The first report would require the ORA to detail how they are providing information about SBA programs and available financial assistance to rural small businesses. This first report would also require the ORA to provide statistics from their programs. 

The second report would require the SBA to give more information about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they signed with the United States Department of Agriculture back in 2018. 

Alford introduced the bill last August and it was co-sponsored by fellow Missouri Congressman Blaine Leutkemeyer, who is vice chair of the House Committee on Small Business.

The bill’s introduction followed a hearing held by the House Committee on Small Business. 

“Last summer the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing with rural entrepreneurs, including a constituent of Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, Jennifer Cassady, where the witnesses testified that they had never heard of the SBA’s Office of Rural Affairs. This problem is not a new one,” Alford said.

Before its passing, Alford gave a speech to Congress about his bill. 

“We’re standing up for the underrepresented, ensuring our rural small businesses aren’t left behind. We’re promoting the accountability and oversight needed to support the backbone of our economy,” Alford told the chamber. 

Now the bill is one step closer to becoming law as it heads to the United States Senate. 

According to the United States Small Business Administration, Missouri has over 500,000 small businesses that employ almost half of the state’s workforce