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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.

We must reignite the American Dream! We must provide the ladder of opportunity for every American to climb, so that every person who works hard and plays by the rules is able to achieve their dreams. And I believe small business is the key.  It creates 2 out of every 3 new jobs. It is my mission as a member of the Small Business Committee to help small businesses do what they do best: create good jobs, drive innovation, and strengthen the middle class.

Whether it is through the dream of higher education, or opening their own small business, we must help them up that ladder.

My top economic priorities include promoting the growth of small businesses, which spurs innovation and supports the middle class; expanding access to education, so that Americans can be competitive in tomorrow’s workforce; rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure to create jobs today; and revitalizing our manufacturing sector so we can “Make it in America” again.

Expanding Job and Business Opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley
With the unemployment rate in the 27th district over 2 percent higher than the national average, there is so much more that can be done right here in the San Gabriel Valley to help people get back on their feet.  

To try to help residents of the San Gabriel Valley get a job or expand their businesses during these tough economic times, I have held the following events in the 27th District:

•Job Hunters Boot Camps to provide unemployed residents of California's 27th District with the resources and training they need to get back to work.
•Workshops for small businesses on how to increase economic opportunities through global exports, which opens up markets and finds new customers overseas.
•Workshops for small business owners on how to secure federal contracting and procurement.  Over the last decade, federal contracting has more than doubled in size reaching nearly $540 billion in 2010.  Doing business with government is vital for many firms’ success.
•Workshops with small business owners focusing on how the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help small businesses grow.
•An official House Small Business Committee hearing held in Pasadena to ensure the Small Business Administration could hear from local businesses about how the S.B.A. is, or is not, helping them grow.

Creating Opportunities for Small Business
Small business is the key.  They create 2 out of every 3 new jobs, spur innovation and support the middle class.  But in these tough economic times small businesses are faced with not only a lack of costumers to buy their goods and services, but also a lack of access to credit to keep their businesses afloat.  That’s why as a Member of the House Small Business Committee, I am committed to fighting for small businesses and ensuring that they have the opportunities and tools they need to succeed. My priorities include expanding access to capital for small businesses so that they can expand and create jobs, delivering more federal contracts by increasing opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the procurement marketplace, and helping small businesses find new customers by exporting their products around the world.

Small Business Development Centers
It’s crucial for our entrepreneurs here at home to have local resources to lean on when looking for advice on how to develop and grow their small businesses.

Small Business Development Centers are Small Business Administration (SBA) administered partnerships, typically with local colleges and universities that provide free, confidential services to small businesses. 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.  They are a critical resource to many small business owners, yet as recently as last year the San Gabriel Valley had none – the closest SBDC was in Long Beach.

I found this to be unacceptable, so I made it my mission to make sure we established an SBDC in the San Gabriel Valley. After many meetings between my office, the SBA, and local colleges and universities, we got a commitment from the SBA to agree to fund the SBDC, if there could be a college or university that would be willing to put up the matching funds.

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 crucial for small businesses – it allows them to invest in new equipment and grow their payrolls. But in these tough times, that capital is harder and harder to come by.

That’s why I introduced the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act. 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 jobs and create new ones.

The CREED Act is completely funded by SBA fees, which means this bill helps boost the economy without costing the taxpayers a dime.

Delivering Contracts to Small Business
Small businesses make up more than 99 percent of all American companies but receive fewer than one-quarter of all federal contracts.  I am focusing on making it easier for small businesses to compete for government contracts. It has been my goal to improve the ability of small businesses to gain a foot-hold in the federal procurement system.  The bundling of federal contracts has been extremely disadvantageous to small business, and yet, the practice has increased due to the fact that it allows federal departments to issue fewer requests for proposals, and therefore, do less work. On the Small Business Committee, I worked with other members to create a bill that shines a light on the bundling process by requiring federal agencies to implement a data quality improvement plan that would generate accurate and timely data on contract bundling.  

Last Congress, I also worked hard to pass major federal contracting reform legislation that will increase federal contracting opportunities for small business and protect against contracting fraud and abuse.  This includes the Building Better Partnerships Act of 2012, a bipartisan bill I introduced to help small businesses more easily join mentor-protégé programs that lead to federal contracts. With the economy still in recovery, I am dedicated to bringing more entrepreneurs into the federal procurement marketplace to increase opportunities for small businesses and to create jobs.

Helping Small Business Discover New Customers: Exporting
The one thing businesses say they need during these tough times is customers. The lack of consumer demand at home has taken its toll on our small businesses. We need to do more to create an economy of the future where companies can create jobs by shipping American-made products overseas. Foreign markets can serve as an important tool to boost sales and offset lower demand at home. Unfortunately, businesses can’t just say “I want to export” today and have a new market at their fingertips tomorrow.

Helping Local Business Owners.  I host exporting workshops for local businesses to discover how they can tap into new export markets.  My workshops are a great way for local businesses to learn about the tools and resources that can help them grow and thrive.  You can sign up for my e-newsletter to learn about the latest workshops.  I also regularly update both Facebook and Twitter to notify my constituents about new local workshops and events.  Like and Follow me today to learn how my staff and I can assist you.

Doubling American Exports for Businesses.  I am also supporting funding for the National Export Initiative – a plan to double American exports by 2015.  With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, exporting American products must be a crucial component of our economic future.   And we can succeed, but only if U.S. companies, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises – the engines of economic growth – receive the encouragement and support they need as they seek new markets for their goods and services.

Expanding Access to Education
We must make college affordable so everyone can get a high paying job and to provide American companies with the skilled workers they need.  That’s why I voted in favor of the greatest increase to Pell Grants ever, so that we can ensure robust financial aid is available so students from every background can get a degree.

And we must not slip further in the science and technology fields that made our nation great.  Today, we are 20th in the world in graduation rates in these subject areas.  That’s why I offered an amendment to the America COMPETES Act to help college students in science, engineering and math, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, transition from 2-year to 4-year academic institutions. But we can do more by strengthening academic standards and promoting teaching careers in these areas.

Click here for more information on my views on education.

Building America’s Infrastructure
We must build 21st Century transportation, water and telecommunications infrastructure as an investment in our future that will also create the jobs we need today.  That’s why I strongly supported the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (Map-21) Act.  This bill invests billions in our nation’s transportation infrastructure over the next two years to create or save more than 2 million jobs.  Building our transportation infrastructure is one of the best ways we can invest in our nation’s future and create jobs.

We must also bring the Gold Line from Downtown Los Angeles all the way out to the Ontario Airport.  Already we have had great success beginning construction on the extension from Pasadena to Azusa, which will open in 2015.  And I am now fighting for funding to bring it out to Glendora, Claremont and Montclair.

Revitalizing the Manufacturing Sector
We must stop the erosion of America’s manufacturing base by extending tax credits for investing in plants and equipment, and by funding programs to rebuild the American manufacturing base.  We need to create high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future while promoting American competitiveness, innovation and exports.  We must close tax loopholes that encourage outsourcing U.S. jobs overseas.  We must also give companies that have operations overseas incentives to bring their jobs home.  

That’s why I support President Obama’s plan to give these companies a 20 percent income tax credit for the expenses of moving operations back into the U.S.  I am also in favor of the “Make it in America Challenge,” a $40 million competition that helps accelerate the trend of insourcing - U.S. companies that bring back jobs and invest here in America. These grants are available to states, cities, nonprofits, colleges and economic development districts.  They can use these funds to develop plans to help attract companies that want to build in the U.S. but might need more resources.

I also proudly voted in support of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, a law that contained hundreds of tariff suspensions and reductions to allow American manufacturing companies to increase production, create more jobs in America and compete internationally.

More on Small Business, Jobs and the Economy

March 16, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump introduced his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The proposal makes serious cuts to domestic programs and to the Department of State’s diplomacy and development programs, while increasing spending on the military, a deportation force, and a border wall. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

October 21, 2016 Press Release

Pasadena, CA – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) hosted a Job Hunters Boot Camp at Grapevine Arbor Park in San Gabriel, CA. The Boot Camp was attended by over 100 job seekers who received resources, advice, and employment opportunities from 50 employers and volunteer groups. Attendees were able to get resume help, speak with employers, apply for jobs, and attend workshops on branding, growing a business, and more. There was also a specialized workshop for veterans entering the workforce. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

October 18, 2016 My Bills

Accomplishments During the 114th Congress (2014-2016)

In District

Bringing more federal resources to the San Gabriel Valley is one of my top priorities. This is why I partner with federal agencies to ensure that we have access to federal programs and funding that could benefit our region. I am proud to have worked with these agencies and the President’s Administration on the following initiatives.

October 11, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee’s Access to Capital Subcommittee, joined Ranking Member Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) and sixteen other House colleagues in calling on regulatory agencies to investigate whether Wells Fargo’s unethical cross-selling practices and illegal opening of secret accounts extended to its small business lending division. 

August 26, 2016 Press Release

PASADENA, CA – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) hosted a press conference and presentation to introduce local small business owners to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new 504 refinancing program. Dozens of small business owners joined Rep. Chu, Isabella Guzman, SBA Deputy Chief of Staff, Hilda Kennedy, Founder/President of AmPac Tri State Certified Development Company, and Edgar Davtyan, Chief Finance Strategist at the Ayzenberg Group, a recipient of a 504 loan, at today’s event, which was held at the Ayzenberg Group offices.

April 15, 2016 Press Release
Today, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a tentative decision allowing Norwegian Air International (NAI) to increase flights in the United States.
April 7, 2016 In The News
“I wanted to shine a light on this problem and then of course contemplate some solutions,” Chu said. “One thing that we could look into is an Emerging Managers program. There are so few women fund managers, and this is part of the reason why women get so few funds because, first on, the decision-makers are overwhelmingly men.”
April 5, 2016 Press Release
Today, Rep. Judy Chu, the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, hosted a hearing in her district at the Pasadena City Hall to examine the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs looking to obtain venture capital. Rep. Chu was joined by Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), who chaired the hearing. They heard testimony from four local female venture capitalists and entrepreneurs about trends in the industry and difficulties faced in obtaining venture capital. According to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, 72% of women entrepreneurs listed access to capital as their most critical challenge to launching a new business.
March 23, 2016 Press Release
Today, the House Small Business Committee approved two bipartisan pieces of legislation that strengthen and improve important Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. H.R. 4783, the Commercializing Small Business Innovation Act of 2016, reauthorizes the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs ahead of their scheduled expiration dates in 2017. H.R. 207, the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2015, implements reforms to the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE programs, three of the Small Business Administration’s flagship economic development programs.
January 13, 2016 Press Release
Today, the House Small Business Committee held a markup of H.R. 4341, the Defending America’s Contractors Act of 2016. H.R. 4341, which passed the committee with bipartisan support, included language from legislation that Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01) introduced last week. The Defending America’s Contractors Act reforms and strengthens rules in the Small Business Act that help small businesses and other disadvantaged firms compete in the federal contracting marketplace.