SBA Logo Horizontal


By AEO Staff 

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is diligently monitoring the implementation of key policies and programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

These initiatives are integral to AEO’s nationwide efforts to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses, particularly in underserved communities. Our mission is to provide the resources and support these businesses need to thrive. AEO recognizes the critical role effective government programs play in fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and is dedicated to ensuring these initiatives align with the needs of our members. 

7(a) Working Capital Pilot (WCP) Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), led by Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, has launched the 7(a) Working Capital Pilot (WCP) Program to enhance small businesses’ access to flexible, competitively priced lines of credit. This innovative program is designed to meet the needs of small businesses in a high-interest-rate environment, offering lines of credit that provide greater flexibility than traditional term loans. The WCP supports small businesses in pursuing growth opportunities, creating jobs, and expanding their operations as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. 

 Key features of the WCP program include: 

  • Transaction-based and asset-based loans: These help manage cash flow and support supply chain resiliency. 
  • Support for global trade: Benefiting businesses engaged in international markets. 
  • Participation in Home Energy Rebate Programs: Encouraging sustainability under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

 With an innovative fee structure, the WCP allows small businesses to customize loans based on their specific needs, significantly reducing loan costs for shorter maturities. This program aligns with AEO’s mission to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing them with the necessary financial tools and resources to succeed in a competitive market. 

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

On Wednesday, June 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This federal legislation governs the national workforce development system and provides resources for individuals facing barriers to employment to successfully enter the labor market. 

In April, the House passed the Stronger Workforce for America Act (ASWA), which reauthorizes WIOA, with a 378-26 bipartisan vote. The ASWA aims to significantly modify the workforce development system by: 

  • Emphasizing employer-led training programs: Fostering direct involvement of employers in workforce development. 
  • Reducing federal funds for wraparound services: Impacting services like transportation, child-care, and interview preparation. 
  • Shifting decision-making authority to the state level: Centralizing control away from local entities. 

Despite significant bipartisan support in the House, Senate negotiations have been challenging due to policy differences between parties, along with the legislation’s $50 billion-plus investment. As election season approaches, the chances for the Senate to reauthorize WIOA are dwindling. 

AEO remains steadfast in advocating for policies that support small businesses and entrepreneurs. We encourage our members and supporters to stay informed and engaged with these developments. Your voice is vital in shaping policies that foster economic growth and opportunity. Join us in advocating for robust support systems that enable small businesses to flourish.