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Congressman Brad Schneider

Representing the 10th District of Illinois

Reps. Schneider, Luján, and Lipinski, Introduce Bill to Help Small Startup Businesses

June 7, 2017
Press Release
Bill would improve resources available to innovative small businesses seeking to commercialize research

U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) today introduced legislation to assist small startup businesses secure funding for early-stage innovation and development. H.R. 2789, or the Support Startup Businesses Act of 2017, makes a number of improvements to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, existing programs intended to help startups working in federal research and development.

Those improvements include: 

  • increasing overall funding to help startups take their ideas from concept to commercialization;
  • creating more flexibility in funding guidelines for technical and business assistance grants;
  • expanding the number of local vendors eligible to provide services to awardees. 

In introducing their bill, the three lawmakers noted the rate of startup creation in the United States has fluctuated greatly in the past 30 years. The United States now ranks 12th among developed nations in terms of business startup activity.

“This bill makes it easier for innovative small businesses to access the resources they need to bring their research to market,” said Schneider. “When these small businesses develop and grow, it advances not just technological innovation, but also boosts our economy and creates jobs. I’m very pleased to join with my colleagues to introduce this legislation targeted at helping dynamic start-ups succeed.”

“Job creation is critical to our economy and startups are the engine of job creation. According to economic studies, new businesses account for the vast majority of new job creation and nearly 2 million jobs per year over the past 25 years,” said Luján. “Our bill helps the innovative small businesses that are so vital to our economy get the funding they need to establish and expand their operations.” 

 “Every small business is different and every new product presents unique challenges,” said Lipinski. “The companies that win small federal business grants are already on the cutting edge of innovation; this legislation gives them the flexibility to use their funds where they’re needed most to make sure their products are successful, and that the firm can continue to thrive and hire.”

The program targeted by the legislation, SBIR, is a federal assistance initiative, coordinated by the Small Business Administration, created to support scientific excellence and technological innovation and intended to help small startup businesses conduct research and development; take products from concept to commercialization; and build a strong national network of small startup businesses.