MADISONVILLE, La. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced the bipartisan Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act to address the lack of broadband internet and other emerging information technology resources in rural areas by improving Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.
“Louisiana depends on broadband more each day. I’m proud to partner with Sen. Shaheen to expand access to broadband and other technological resources for small businesses so that they can continue to support the jobs our economy depends on,” said Kennedy.
“Small businesses are engines of economic growth and the heart of communities across New Hampshire, they need tools to boost their resilience moving forward. Reliable broadband is key to their success, particularly in rural parts of our state and country,” said Shaheen. “I’m reintroducing this bipartisan bill to improve SBA programs that expand access to broadband services, particularly in underserved and rural areas. This would build on the historic investments I helped secure as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law that will close the digital divide and improve the success of small businesses and families alike.”
The Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act would:
- Direct the SBA Office of Investment and Innovation to designate a senior employee to serve as the broadband and emerging information technology (BEIT) coordinator.
- Provide SBA employees with BEIT training to help small businesses use such technologies.
- Report on the SBA’s work related to broadband and other emerging information technologies.
- Require the SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy to evaluate the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.
- Authorize small business development centers to help businesses access and use BEIT.
The bill text is available here.