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Congresswoman Kelly Engages New SBA Administrator on Concerns Related to SBA Programs Preventing Equity Investment in Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

Jan 23, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) wrote to newly confirmed SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza, regarding burdensome rules governing the SBA’s 8(a) and 8(m) programs, programs designed to empower socially and economically disadvantaged business owners.

In her letter, Congresswoman Kelly raises the fact that many small business owners are forced to make an impossible choice between accepting equity investment and participating in the program because of an outdated “unconditional ownership” requirement.

She writes, “The overly burdensome unconditional ownership requirement prevents equity investments and forces small business owners to choose between program participation and growth through private equity investment. The current rules punish well-run businesses for attracting outside investment that would help make them more sustainable and successful – the goal of these important programs.”

To address these concerns, Congresswoman Kelly introduced the Women and Minority Investment Act (H.R. 3633). Her legislation would amend the rules and allow for small businesses to remain eligible if a socially or economically disadvantaged individual or individuals retains a 51+ percent stake in the business.

In her letter, the Congresswoman notes that the Senate companion bills, S. 1981, was co-sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Similar legislative language to Congresswoman Kelly’s proposal has already passed the U.S. Senate but has yet to be considered by the House Committee on Small Business.

“My goal with this letter is simple: alert the new Administrator to this challenge and propose a viable solution. I hope to work with Administrator Carranza to address my concern and to promote the success of our nation’s small businesses, the backbone of the American economy,” added Congresswoman Kelly.

The full letter can be found here.


Robin Kelly



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