The Senate on Thursday passed legislation that directs the Small Business Administration (SBA) to designate a senior Office of Investment and Innovation employee as the broadband and emerging information technology coordinator. It also establishes measures to help the competitiveness and productivity of small businesses through broadband access and other emerging information technologies.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and John Kennedy (R-LA), sponsored the measure. “Small businesses are engines of economic growth in New Hampshire and across the country,” said Shaheen. She said she looks forward to the House taking up and passing the legislation, “which will help small businesses in New Hampshire and around the country.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, the coordinator’s responsibilities include identifying best practices relating to broadband and emerging information technology that may help small businesses. The responsibilities also involve coordinating SBA programs that assist small businesses in adopting, making innovations in, and using broadband and other emerging information technologies. The SBA must also provide training to familiarize its employees with broadband and other emerging technologies.
The SBA must report on the impact of broadband and emerging information technology deployment on small businesses. The bill also requires Small Business Development Centers to help small businesses access broadband and other emerging information technology.
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief