Thompson Introduces Legislation to Assist Small Businesses, Distance Education; Constituent Testifies Before Congress

April 2, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, introduced legislation this week that will amend the Small Business Act by allowing third parties the opportunity to provide high-quality distance training and education to potential and existing entrepreneurs through the use of technology.

The Educating Entrepreneurs through Today’s Technology Act of 2009 (H.R. 1807), will particularly benefit rural communities, by enabling access through technology, the ability to utilize the resources of the Small Business Administration and the sixty-three Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout the country.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and our rural communities,” said Thompson, a Member of the Small Business Committee. “So while the Governor zeroed out funding in the state budget for the Community Education Councils, who supply critical services to both small businesses and distance education in areas of need, this legislation will allow access to federal resources by providing web based educational and training materials.”

At a Small Business Committee hearing this afternoon, Donna Kilhoffer, the Program Manager for the Community Education Council (CEC) of Elk and Cameron Counties testified to the need of additional resources to fulfill the council’s mission.

“Congressman Thompson’s legislation certainly has the potential to fill this void,” said Kilhoffer. “In Elk and Cameron Counties, we have small businesses and entrepreneurs who would greatly benefit, if able to access the resources of the Small Business Administration."

Continued Kilhoffer, “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our area. What is lacking is the opportunity and ability to tap into ‘the experts’. The resources of SBA, married with distance education technology appear to be the most logical, timely, and cost effective ways to bridge the gap between the need we have, and the extensive knowledge and resources at SBA’s disposal.”

The Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties through partnership with industry, systems of higher education, and community institution is dedicated to the development and provision of affordable, accessible and quality advanced educational training and awareness programs for the citizens of Elk and Cameron Counties.