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Small Business, Jobs and the Economy

Congresswoman Judy Chu at the construction of the iconic 210 bridge for L.A. Metro's Gold Line.

As a member of the Small Business Committee, and Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations, my top economic priorities include promoting the growth of small businesses; creating a competitive workforce through education and training; and rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure to create jobs today. Since small businesses create 2 out of every 3 new jobs, I believe helping entrepreneurs succeed is the key.

Small Business Development Centers

Getting an idea off the ground isn’t always easy. Having access to local resources like advice on how to develop and grow a small businesses can make all the difference.

That is why I’m proud to have brought the first two Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to the San Gabriel Valley. Small Business Development Centers are Small Business Administration (SBA) administered partnerships, typically with local colleges and universities that provide free, confidential services to small business owners. Any person who wants to start or expand their small business can get a business plan or a feasibility study.  They can get help in marketing and most importantly in finding financing.  

Where once the closest SBDC was in Long Beach, I am proud to say that thanks to all of our efforts, we now have two fully operational SBDCs – one at Pasadena City College and the other at the University of La Verne. These small business development centers have already helped many entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground, and they can be of service to you too, so don’t hesitate to contact them for free advice and support. 

Pasadena City College SBDC
Foothill Campus

3035 E. Foothill Blvd., Room 122
Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone: (626) 585-3106

SBDC hosted by University of La Verne
College of Business and Public Management

2180 Third Street
La Verne, CA 917507
Phone: (909) 448-1556

Expanding Access to Capital

Financial capital is critical for small businesses – it allows them to invest in new equipment and grow their payrolls. But that capital can be hard to come by.

That’s why I successfully fought to pass the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act into law. It extends the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 loan refinance program for 5 years, allowing qualified small businesses to lock in long-term, stable financing, and enabling access to working capital to protect and create new jobs.

The CREED Act is completely funded by SBA fees, which means this law helps boost the economy without costing the taxpayers a dime. Since its passage, small businesses have been able to refinance qualified loans at low interest rates, helping them increase their capital and succeed. 

Investing in Main Street

A shocking 73% of small businesses are turned away for conventional loans by banks.  This is why we rely on loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to seek sources of capital. I introduced the Investing in Main Street Act to address this very problem. The Small Business Investment Companies Program, or SBIC, is an investment program with an SBA guarantee that increases access to capital for high-growth, start-up businesses. Already, SBIC funding has helped companies like Tesla, Apple, and Intel get off the ground when they were considered to be small businesses. But a 60 year-old law – the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 - put a cap on how much banks or federal savings associations may invest in SBICs. The Investing in Main Street Act amends that outdated law to increase the percentage of capital and surplus that a bank or federal savings association may invest in SBICs.

This bill was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives in 2019. I am working towards getting it through the Senate and signed into law. 


More on Small Business, Jobs and the Economy

July 6, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — According to new data released by the US Treasury Department, over 22,400 businesses in California’s 27th Congressional District received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These federally backed loans worth up to $10 million were created by Congress to help businesses continue paying employees and cover other operating expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory shutdown and social distancing orders. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, issued the following statement:

May 15, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations, held a virtual forum with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Inspector General (IG), Hannibal "Mike" Ware, about the report he prepared on the SBA’s implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to the CARES Act, the SBA through PPP is supposed to prioritize underserved and rural markets.

May 14, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), and Rep. Danny Davis (IL-07) introduced Social Services Pandemic Disaster Relief Act. The bill would provide $10 billion for essential emergency assistance to vulnerable children, families, and individuals, including those who may not be receiving other assistance during the pandemic.

May 14, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – To ensure that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is prioritizing underserved and rural businesses, as required by the CARES Act, today, Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Tony Cardenas (CA-29) introduced the PPP Data Diversity and Accountability Act of 2020. This bill would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to collect and report on demographic data, disaggregated by race, in order to show how many PPP applicants were minority-, women-, or veteran-owned.

May 11, 2020 Press Release

Washington D.C. – Congressmembers and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week urging that future coronavirus response legislation ensure that independent workers with multiple types of income are able to access the same unemployment assistance that the CARES Act provides to those with more traditional employment arrangements. 

April 29, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, 105 House Democrats, led by House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), sent a letter to House Democratic and Republican leadership urging that labor unions be made eligible to access to recovery funds made possible under the CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program.

April 23, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), voted to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This bill would increase appropriations for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from $349 billion to $670.355 billion, including $310 billion for loans. It establishes a set-aside of $30 billion specifically for community banks and smaller lenders with between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets and an additional $30 billion for institutions with less than $10 billion.

April 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Democratic Members of the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations and Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) sent a letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza urging new rules for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was established by Congress to help small businesses survive the coronavirus crisis without having to let go of staff.

April 16, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations, and Rep. Joseph Morelle (NY-25), led a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig urging them to use existing regulatory authority to prevent financial institutions from garnishing the stimulus checks to Americans during the coronavirus crisis. The stimulus checks were passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, as part of the CARES Act, to help all Americans weather the economic slowdown.

April 3, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Representatives Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Lou Correa (D-Calif.) unveiled new legislation to ensure that everyone in our country – especially vulnerable communities – can access health care and other critical resources during the coronavirus pandemic.