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Congressman Jerry McNerney

Representing the 9th District of California

Rep. McNerney Applauds House Passage of Small Business Investments Bill

Oct 16, 2017
Press Release
Includes McNerney amendment to support Minority-Serving Institutions

(Washington, D.C.) – Last week, the House passed H.R. 2763, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvements (STTR) Act of 2017, which included an amendment by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) to require federal agencies to conduct outreach to Minority-Serving Institutions in order to generate higher participation rates in federal research and development opportunities.

"In creating the SBIR program, one of Congress’ main objectives was to facilitate and increase the participation of minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation,” said Rep. McNerney. “Our country’s economic growth will be determined in large part by the innovation and expansion of technology and STEM-focused businesses. That means it is critical to the growth of our economy that Minority-Serving Institutions and minority-owned businesses are connected to this technological ecosystem.”

Passing with bipartisan support, H.R. 2763 enhances the SBIR and STTR programs, and would provide more opportunities for America’s small businesses to participate in federal research and development innovation. Congressman McNerney’s amendment would enhance these goals by requiring participating federal agencies in the SBIR and STTR programs to reach out to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

“Our country depends on the innovation of MSIs and the intellectual capital of its graduates,” said Congressman McNerney. “There are many great Minority-Serving Institutions and researchers who work at these institutions across the country, including those located in my district. CSU Stanislaus is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an MSI that has been ranked one of the best colleges in the nation. The SBIR and STTR programs annually award $3 billion to small businesses, and it is critical to our nation that MSIs and minority-owned small businesses are provided greater access to compete for more of these resources.”

"Support for minority-serving and Hispanic-serving institutions and the research and development work we do are longstanding California State University system priorities," said Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn. "We applaud Congressman McNerney’s efforts in recognizing and addressing these needs as we work together to increase Central Valley business opportunities."

This amendment is another example of Congressman McNerney’s continued commitment to support and protect minority-owned businesses. Earlier this year, he led two bipartisan letters to the House Appropriations Committee calling on Congress to continue funding the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in the FY2018 appropriations and the agency secured its funding for FY2018.

A press release on the letters can be read here

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.