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ICYMI: Shaheen-Led Bills to Support Small Businesses Are Now Law

**The bills led by Shaheen will protect small businesses from cybersecurity threats and expand access to disaster assistance.**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced that two bills she led to help small businesses with cybersecurity and recover from natural disasters were recently signed into law.

The Small Business Cyber Training Act, led by Shaheen and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a training program for Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to prepare counselors in cybersecurity planning assistance. Specifically, the bill would require SBDCs to have employees certified in cyber strategy counseling for small businesses and provide funds to train those employees.

“Cyberattacks can cost small business owners precious resources and expose consumers’ private information to criminals. The small business community deserves help to mitigate these attacks,” said Shaheen. “I’m thrilled the Small Business Cyber Training Act is now law, which will arm small business owners with critical cyber security training so they can quickly identify and respond to threats to their companies. This new law will help build digital resiliency in our local economies and better protect both entrepreneurs and their customers from cyber criminals.”

The text of the bill can be read here.

In addition, the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, led by Shaheen and Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), was also signed into law. The bipartisan legislation would allow rural communities to more easily access emergency relief in the wake of a natural disaster.

Under current law, bureaucratic roadblocks prevent small businesses and homeowners in rural communities from accessing SBA assistance following a natural disaster. This legislation creates a waiver at no cost to taxpayers, allowing rural communities to more readily access and secure SBA disaster assistance in the case of a presidentially-declared disaster.

“After a disaster strikes, rural small businesses often face many barriers and red tape as they rebuild,” said Shaheen. “Entrepreneurs across New Hampshire deserve timely access to the relief they need to recover. I’m thrilled my bipartisan, commonsense bill has been signed into law and will now help address these bureaucratic hurdles so rural business owners can access the emergency resources they deserve.”

The text of the bill can be read here.

As a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and as a former small business owner, Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for New Hampshire’s small business community. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaheen went to bat for small business owners who were among the most severely impacted by the public health crisis. She worked to provide small businesses with the resources they needed to weather and recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading negotiations on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, both of which were lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the country. Recently, President Biden signed into law a Shaheen-led bill to require the SBA to create a centralized website that houses compliance guides pertaining to federal regulations impacting small businesses.