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house Bill H.R. 4407

Reauthorizing the SCORE Program to Help Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Argument in favor

The SCORE program helps link small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs with retired executives who can serve as mentors. This bipartisan reauthorization of the program will help small businesses across the country.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/21/2019
Yes, this is a valuable resource for new small business entrepreneurs. I served on one of these boards for several months and saw how valuable a resource this was. We neither charged for this service nor funded their efforts; we only advised. First, we would discus the perceived merits of their ideas, if needed. Then we found out how well they understood the potential of what they were proposing, the market for it, who their competitors might be and how they would stack up compared to them. It was eye opening to many who had great new technology ideas (my role). Most did not know much about the realities of having a business plan, contingency planning, exit criteria if things didn’t work out or where and how to look for funding. Later sessions would review business plans and get into the realities of needed production scale up, marketing and distribution schemes. I don’t know how many were successful but I do know that if they followed our collective advise, they were well prepared to be successful. Many folks with really good ideas have no clue regarding all the other stuff that has to be attended to in order to get their good idea into practice. This program can truly help them and the country develop new or better products and services.
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RjGoodman's Opinion
···
10/20/2019
Absolutely! I have been associated with the organization as both an entrepreneur and a retired executive. The support provided by the organization is invaluable. In the early days of a startup or in periods of high growth, the ability to work with people who have been there, well, it was probably instrumental in my success. I don’t know of a better testament.
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Doug 's Opinion
···
10/21/2019
Small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy.
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Argument opposed

These volunteers who participate in the SCORE program could create their own non-profit outside of the SBA and still be one of SBA’s partner organizations. All they’d need to do is raise their own money.

JTJ's Opinion
···
10/21/2019
I met with a score mentor a couple times. He wasn’t very helpful. Regardless, this should be a privately run and funded organization.
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Daniel's Opinion
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10/21/2019
We do not need government control that is swinging more and more too socialism. We need better labor laws so Unions are no longer needed.
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Ronald's Opinion
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10/22/2019
Our Nation is in debt. We must not borrow money for this.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • The house Passed October 21st, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 389 Yea / 8 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Small Business
    IntroducedSeptember 19th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 4407?

This bill would reauthorize the SCORE program for fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022 and implement safeguards that incorporate recommendations made by a 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program is a non-profit subsidiary of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides free or low-cost counseling, mentoring, and workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs related to the operation of their businesses. These counseling services can include developing a business plan, or providing marketing and finance advice.

Based on business experience and knowledge, SCORE volunteers would:

  • Provide personal counseling, mentoring, and coaching relating to the experience of starting, expanding, managing, buying, and selling a business to current or aspiring small business owners;
  • Facilitate low-cost education workshops for individuals who own, or aspire to own, small business concerns.

The SBA Administrator would be authorized to make grants or enter into cooperative agreements totalling less than $11.7 million to help achieve the goals that each chapter of the SCORE program establishes for itself.

The SBA would ensure that the program and each of its chapters develop and implement plans and goals to provide services more effectively and efficiently to individuals in rural areas, economically disadvantaged communities, and other traditionally underserved communities. This would include plans for electronic initiatives, web-based initiatives, chapter expansion, partnerships, and the development of new skills by participating volunteers.

The SCORE Association would: 

  • Make use of online counseling, including by webinars and an electronic mentoring platform;
  • Study the future role of the program;
  • Develop a strategic plan for how the program will evolve to meet the needs of small business concerns over the next five years.

Within 180 days after this bill’s enactment, and annually thereafter, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and the House Small Business Committee would receive a report on the SCORE program’s performance and effectiveness. Among other topics, the report would discuss:

  • Metrics (such as the number of individuals counseled or trained and number of hours of counseling provided) illustrating the program’s impact;
  • Demographics (including gender, race, and age) of SCORE program participants and volunteers; 
  • The cost to create a job, the cost to create a business, and return on investment;
  • The results of SCORE program participant satisfaction surveys, including a summary of any comments received from such participants; and
  • The number of new businesses started up and jobs created by SCORE program participants.

The SBA Administrator and the SCORE Association would be prohibited from disclosing the contact information of a person or business participating in the program without their consent.

Impact

Small businesses and entrepreneurs; SCORE chapters and mentors; and the SBA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4407

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) introduced this bill to reauthorize the SCORE program for FY2020-2022, establish new compliance and oversight requirements to protect taxpayer dollars, and set new outcome-based performance goals to ensure the program meets the SBA’s standards and Congressional intent After this bill unanimously passed the House Small Business Committee, original cosponsor Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) said

“Small businesses are at the heart of our district’s thriving economies and robust communities - from Hastings to Cannon Falls to Zumbrota. “I’m proud to see a common-sense, bipartisan effort like this pass out of committee, and I look forward to continuing to expand economic opportunity and entrepreneurship for Minnesotans through critical programs like SCORE.”  

This legislation passed the House Committee on Small Business on September 25, 2019 with the support of four bipartisan cosponsors, including three Democrats and one Republican.

Last Congress, it was sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and passed the House by voice vote on July 10, 2018 with the support of one cosponsor, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). 

Before its individual consideration in the House, this bill was included in the Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act (H.R.1774), which later became part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018 (H.R.2810). The 2018 NDAA was reported, as amended by the House House Committee on Armed Services on July 6, 2017, and passed the House on July 14, 2017 by a vote of 344-81. It was then passed by the Senate, as amended, by an 89-8 vote on September 18, 2017. H.R.1700 wasn’t included in the final version of H.R.2810.


Of NoteThe Service Corps of Retired Executives, which is now known as SCORE or the SCORE Association, was founded in 1964 and began creating local chapters in the 1970s. It has provided services to nearly 10 million Americans since its founding, and SCORE currently has over 13,000 volunteer business counselors located in 348 chapters across the U.S.

In 2014, SCORE’s volunteers donated more than 1.2 million hours of their time to mentor and train 148,800 small business owners and entrepreneurs -- leading to the creation of 56,079 businesses and 47,187 jobs. Of the clients assisted by SCORE, 107,201 increased their revenue in 2014, which is more than 72 percent of the entrepreneurs it worked with.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang and Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force - Brian Brackens / Public Domain)

AKA

SCORE for Small Business Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Small Business Act to reauthorize the SCORE program, and for other purposes.

    Yes, this is a valuable resource for new small business entrepreneurs. I served on one of these boards for several months and saw how valuable a resource this was. We neither charged for this service nor funded their efforts; we only advised. First, we would discus the perceived merits of their ideas, if needed. Then we found out how well they understood the potential of what they were proposing, the market for it, who their competitors might be and how they would stack up compared to them. It was eye opening to many who had great new technology ideas (my role). Most did not know much about the realities of having a business plan, contingency planning, exit criteria if things didn’t work out or where and how to look for funding. Later sessions would review business plans and get into the realities of needed production scale up, marketing and distribution schemes. I don’t know how many were successful but I do know that if they followed our collective advise, they were well prepared to be successful. Many folks with really good ideas have no clue regarding all the other stuff that has to be attended to in order to get their good idea into practice. This program can truly help them and the country develop new or better products and services.
    Like (80)
    Follow
    Share
    I met with a score mentor a couple times. He wasn’t very helpful. Regardless, this should be a privately run and funded organization.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely! I have been associated with the organization as both an entrepreneur and a retired executive. The support provided by the organization is invaluable. In the early days of a startup or in periods of high growth, the ability to work with people who have been there, well, it was probably instrumental in my success. I don’t know of a better testament.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy.
    Like (28)
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    More small businesses, fewer mega-corporations.
    Like (16)
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    Yes, we should try to help small businesses whenever we can - they are what keep our country running.
    Like (15)
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    It has been a great help in my community to help people starting their own businesses.
    Like (11)
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    More new business with more likelihood of success. Best investment ever!
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    This helps propel the economy and generate jobs
    Like (10)
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    Yes absolutely we all need SCORE!
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    We need to be helping our small businesses, they provide many jobs, and it helps make the American dream still possible.
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    This program definitely needs to be reauthorized. At one point I looked at opening my own practice and SCORE was very helpful in working through that process with me. I ultimately chose not to pursue my own private practice as I couldn’t do so and still afford to work with the type of clients I wanted to. SCORE was very helpful in that process, however.
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    Helping small business is a very important thing to do. Especially since most of the tax breaks go to the top 2%
    Like (7)
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    One of the rare “good business” programs.
    Like (6)
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    This country was built by small businesses.
    Like (6)
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    Glad to see vote “yah” Montana Rep Gianforte! Score Program is great!
    Like (5)
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    It’s important to help small businesses.
    Like (5)
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    Yes!!!!!
    Like (5)
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    We do not need government control that is swinging more and more too socialism. We need better labor laws so Unions are no longer needed.
    Like (4)
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    Make sure the economy works for everyone
    Like (4)
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