Scott joins bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support investment in US manufacturing

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced legislation to increase investment in American small manufacturers. The Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America (SIGMA) Act would support American manufacturers through increasing affordable loans, incentivizing operation growth, and expanding financial resources and education assistance to small manufacturers. A companion bill in the House was introduced by U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.). 

The SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs assist small businesses by providing federally guaranteed loans for businesses. These loan programs, along with the SBA’s Small Business Investment Company, provide investment in America’s start-up manufacturers and growing businesses that have limited access to cash reserves. The SIGMA Act spurs additional investment for small manufacturing businesses in low- or moderate-income areas, rural areas, areas of high unemployment, and those that are veteran-owned, minority-owned, woman-owned, or are important to national security.

“Having been a former small business owner and entrepreneur, I understand the challenges that many across our nation face when trying to start a business and build their American Dream,” said Senator Tim Scott. “By investing in, and providing our manufacturers and innovators with access to, necessary resources, we are advancing our communities and creating more jobs for Americans.”

“Small manufacturers provide an outsized role in growing the U.S. economy and are vital links in the domestic industrial supply chain,” said Senator Coons. “This bill will help our small manufacturers secure adequate lines of credit so that they can expand their businesses, create new jobs, and continue to support U.S. economic growth.”

“For the sake of national and economic security, the United States must remain a global leader in manufacturing,” said Senator Gardner. “But small manufacturing can face some of the steepest startup costs. The SIGMA Act will help ensure small manufacturing entrepreneurs have access to capital to start and grow their businesses. This legislation will create jobs, spur investments in our local communities – particularly our rural economies – and strengthen American manufacturing.”

The SIGMA Act is endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bipartisan Policy Center, Delaware Small Business Development Center, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems International, Manufacturing Alliance of Communities, National Association of Development Companies, Small Business Investor Alliance, Small Business Majority, State Science and Technology Institute, Third Way, and True Access Capital (formally First State Community Loan Fund).

“Small manufacturers account for nearly half of all manufacturing jobs in the United States, but they are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to capital,” said Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer.“Fortunately, the Small Manufacturers Access to Capital Act would help solve this problem by increasing the maximum Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan guarantee rate to 90% and increasing the loan limit on 504 loans to $10 million for manufacturers. What’s more, this legislation would support small manufacturers by directing the SBA to utilize its existing resources to help small manufacturers access its financing assistance programs.”

“Access to capital to modernize plant equipment to take advantage of the revolution in digital manufacturing, to innovate new products, or to scale their business is a serious challenge for many small U.S. manufacturers,” said ITIF President Dr. Rob Atkinson. “The Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America Act makes important reforms to SBA Section 7(a) and 504 loan programs that will facilitate, ease, and expand their use by U.S. manufacturers and thus play a catalytic role in revitalizing American manufacturing.”

“With the introduction of the Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America Act, Senator Coons continues to be a great champion of America’s small manufacturers,” said Third Way Executive Vice President for Policy Jim Kessler. “The bill builds on his legacy of support of startups, small business investment, and job training.”

“As manufacturing technologies advance, small manufacturers will play an increasingly important role in ensuring these innovations are implemented domestically so that the U.S. fully benefits from these innovations. With small manufacturers making up much of the domestic manufacturing base, this Act will create more opportunities for these small businesses to engage and grow by granting more creditworthy small manufacturers access to affordable loans,” said ASME Executive Director & CEO Thomas Costabile. “Further, this Act will encourage the manufacturing sector to evolve and keep pace with new technologies by increasing support for startups and by making it easier to invest in small manufacturers that are essential to U.S. national security. ASME applauds your work and supports expanding opportunities for small manufacturers to grow their capabilities, which will allow the U.S. to compete more effectively on a global scale. Thank you for your leadership on this issue.”

“IMS International, a non-profit organization helping SME’s integrate advanced manufacturing technologies, and its Board of Directors unanimously endorse the bill ‘Investing in America’s Small Manufacturers Act’ proposed by Senator Coons,” said IMS-I Managing Director Dan Nagy. “We believe the additional support of affordable loans and incentives for small manufacturers will not only grow our small manufacturers but also promote advanced technology integration. This bill will help small manufacturers remain competitive as stand-alone companies and secure their positions in supply chains. Through recognition of ‘Advanced Manufacturing Sectors’ in the ‘Small Business Act,’ entrepreneurship and growth is supported for innovative small manufacturers. Overall, the bill contributes to the health and growth of our critical manufacturing sector.”

“The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) thanks Senators Coons, Tim Scott, and Gardner for introducing the Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America Act. This legislation is thoughtful policy that promotes investment in small manufacturers – the source of some of our country’s greatest innovation,” said SBIA President Brett Palmer.  

“The Strengthening Investment to Grow Manufacturing in America Act is a major step in supporting small manufacturers, who are critical to the nation’s manufacturing industry, and strengthening economic and national security,” says BPC Action Executive Director Michele Stockwell. “BPC Action applauds Senators Coons and Gardner for their continued bipartisan leadership on this fundamental issue.”