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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 23, 2017.
Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act of 2017
This bill amends the Small Business Act with respect to the authority of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to use certain SBA programs, including the small business development center (SBDC) program, to provide grants, financial assistance, loans, export assistance, and subcontracting opportunities on federal contracts to specified small businesses, organizations, state governments, universities, companies, and other entities that assist smaller enterprises.
The SBA shall use such programs only to deliver entrepreneurial development services, entrepreneurial education, support for the development and maintenance of clusters, or business training. Such program requirements shall not apply to services provided to assist small businesses owned by an Indian tribe.
The SBA shall not prohibit SBDC grant recipients from marketing and advertising their services to individuals and small business concerns.
The SBA shall establish a Data Collection Working Group to determine the best way to capture data collection and create or revise existing systems dedicated to data collection.
The bill: (1) increases the portion of certain available funds the SBA may use to pay the expenses of the National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, the information sharing system, and the SBDC association for conducting an SBCD accreditation program; and (2) removes a limitation on the amount the SBA may use to pay the examination expenses of the SBDC accreditation program.
The SBA may not award grants (including contracts and cooperative agreements) under the SBDC program to entities other than those that received them before September 30, 2015, and seek to renew them after that date, with an exception for not-for-profit institutions of higher education.