Tuesday, February 25, 2014

U.S. Rep. Schneider pushes bill to help startups

U.S. Rep. Schneider pushes bill to help startups

Today's award for good intentions goes to Congressman Brad Schneider, D-Deerfield, who wants to make it easier for small startup companies to get on their feet.
At a round-table meeting with local entrepreneurs today, Mr. Schneider unveiled a bill that would direct the U.S. Small Business Administration to offer financial, professional and other aid to business accelerators, a type of incubator designed to nurture fledgling enterprises, many of them in the digital and biotech space.
"Startups represent one of the most important segments for accelerating our economy, but lacking the necessary support and funding, too many of our entrepreneurs' ideas and innovations never get off the ground," Mr. Schneider said in a statement. "The Accelerate Our Startups Act will provide critical support."
Mr. Schneider lined up backing from Howard Tullman, a veteran entrepreneur and CEO of the highly successful 1871 tech hub in the Merchandise Mart. He termed the proposal "well-reasoned and impactful" and said it would "allow incubators to grow and thrive."
But the bill, which would authorize the SBA to offer grants, space and technical assistance from lawyers and accountants, only would appropriate $5 million a year for four years. And it's being introduced by a Democrat into a GOP-dominated House during an election year in which Republicans aren't about to pass many bills benefiting Democrats, however laudable.
Still, there's nothing wrong with the idea. Particularly with the clause saying that any federal money would have to be matched at least dollar-for-dollar with local-government cash or private capital.
LIke I said, good intentions.
Follow Greg on Twitter at @GregHinz.

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