(April 16) – The House approved a key component of the House Democrats’ jobs and economic development package today with its voice-vote approval of a bill to increase funding for the state’s Small Business Development Center system

HB13-1002, sponsored by Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), would boost funding to $300,000 per year for the SBDC system, which leverages local and federal matching funds to provide instruction and consulting to help turn entrepreneurs’ big ideas into businesses that are thriving – and hiring.

The 14 SBDCs around the state provide coaching and consultation to startup companies needing help with such basics as writing a business plan and securing capital. With only $85,000 in state dollars in 2011, companies receiving training and consultation from SBDCs produced 1,700 new jobs, the highest rate of return for any economic development program in Colorado.

Some of the additional money would go to developing a marketing program for SBDCs. Several people who spoke during committee testimony said many entrepreneurs are unaware of the centers.

“I’m glad to be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure we take care of small business in Colorado,” Rep. Tyler told the House.

Rep. Perry Buck (R-Windsor) was one of several Republicans who spoke in favor of the bill today. She told the House that SBDCs had been “phenomenal” in helping her launch several businesses.

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