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Shaheen-Led Bills to Support Small Businesses Clear House

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

**Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law**

(Washington, DC) – This week, two bills led by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, to support and protect small businesses passed the House of Representatives. 

The Small Business Cyber Training Act, led by Senators Shaheen and 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 cyber planning assistance. Specifically, the bill would require SBDCs to have employees certified in cyber strategy counseling for small businesses. The bill will now be [re]considered by the full Senate.

“Cyber criminals targeting our small businesses cost owners valuable time and resources. Small businesses face enough challenges in their day-to-day operations - thwarting cyber criminals shouldn’t be another stressor,” said Shaheen. “It’s imperative for Congress to help small business owners acquire the tools they need to protect their businesses, staff and customers from cyberattacks. Our bipartisan bill ensures the Small Business Administration creates a training program to help small businesses protect their online presence. With e-commerce playing a larger role in New Hampshire’s economy, this legislation is an essential investment.”

The text of the bill can be read here.

In addition, the House of Representatives passed the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act, led by Shaheen and Jim Risch (R-ID). 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. In September, the Risch-Shaheen legislation passed the full Senate. With this week’s action by the House, the bill will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“When a disaster hits a rural community, small businesses often face undue red tape as they recover and rebuild,” said Shaheen. “Small businesses are the backbone of New Hampshire’s economy, and they deserve timely access to the relief they need when they’re most vulnerable. That’s why I’m thrilled the House passed this bipartisan, commonsense legislation to address bureaucratic barriers and ensure emergency resources are available to rural Granite State business owners.”

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 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, 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.