WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) and Joe Garcia (D-Florida) introduced The Empowering Encore Entrepreneurs Act of 2014. The bipartisan bill is aimed at offering assistance to entrepreneurs older than 50.
“Small businesses account for between 60 and 80 percent of all new jobs created in this country,” Davis said. “So, ensuring entrepreneurs, at any age, have the necessary resources to build a successful business is beneficial to both those this program seeks to serve and any American in need of a job.”
“As lingering effects of the recession still affect our nation and many small business owners, it is critical we revitalize our economy and support those who found themselves out of a job before retirement,” Garcia said.
This bill will piggy-back off the Small Business Association’s recent collaboration with the AARP that provides counseling and training to entrepreneurs over 50 who want to start or grow a business. Given the need to extend and expand these and other similar programs, Garcia and Davis said they hope this piece of legislation will allow these programs to continue to grow and help middle-aged business owners.
Specifically, the E3 Act will:
• Help improve Small Business Association (SBA) capacity and collaboration with encore entrepreneurs over the age of 50
• Authorize the administrator of the SBA to expand online training and resources for encore entrepreneurs
• Authorize the administrator of the SBA to establish nationwide in-person training events with SBA, its resource partners, and other groups to assist encore entrepreneurs
• Require a report to Congress on barriers and obstacles faced by encore entrepreneurs in starting and expanding businesses
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently issued a letter of support for the bill and thanked the representatives for their work.
“On behalf of our nearly 38 million members and all Americans age 50 and older, thank you for introducing the Empowering Encore Entrepreneurs Act. We really appreciate your work on this important issue.”
In a recent study done by the Kauffman Foundation, 39 percent of entrepreneurial activity was produced by people ages 55 to 64. Garcia and Davis are encouraged this bill will help these figures continue to flourish. The introduction of this bill comes in anticipation of Small Business Week (May 12-16).