Press Releases

Hickenlooper Bills to Expand Loans to Underserved Small Businesses Pass out of Committee 

Aug 3, 2023

WASHINGTON – Recently, two of U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper’s bills to help diverse, small businesses access the capital and resources they need to succeed passed out of the Senate Small Business Committee. The Supporting Community Lenders Act and the Native American Entrepreneurial and Opportunity Act now head to the Senate floor for a final vote.

Hickenlooper’s Supporting Community Lenders Act – introduced with Senators Braun, Hyde-Smith, and Warner – would dismantle barriers to accessing capital by bolstering the federal resources available to community financial institutions – organizations that overwhelmingly lend to underserved small business owners.

Hickenlooper also introduced The Native American Entrepreneurial and Opportunity Act – cosponsored by Senators Lummis, Hirono, and Mullin – which would increase the representation and financial resources available to Native American small-business owners at the SBA.

This group of bills [is] not only bipartisan, but is going to have a real impact and increase jobs and encourage economic prosperity across Main Street and all across this country,” said Hickenlooper. “[This] is an important step to get capital to underserved markets.” 

Senator Hickenlooper made expanding credit to entrepreneurs who haven’t always had a seat at the table one of his main missions on the Senate Small Business Committee. The first four bills Senator Hickenlooper introduced in the Senate were designed to increase Small Business Administration resources available to women-, minority-, and Native American-owned small businesses and employee-owned co-ops. 

More information on the Supporting Community Lenders Act is available HERE, and on the Native American Entrepreneurial and Opportunity Act HERE. 

“The National Center applauds Senator Hickenlooper’s tireless work to pass the Native American Entrepreneurial Opportunity Act,” 
said Chris James, President and CEO of The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. “As a former Associate Administrator at SBA, I understand the importance of having an advocate for Indian Country with a direct line to the Administrator. Making this position permanent will mean the unique economic and entrepreneurial needs of our community – and government-to-government consultation – will always be a priority at SBA. I look forward to this vital legislation becoming law to ensure that we always have a seat at the table in an agency that plays a critical role in boosting our economy.”

Full text of both bills is available HERE and HERE.

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