Tuesday, March 1, 2011

House passes small-business “navigator” bill

A proposed small-business assistance program, debated on the House floor last week, passed the Republican-led chamber today despite reservations expressed by a number of GOP lawmakers.

The measure, House bill 1209, would create a small-business “navigator” under the Small Business Assistance Center within the governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The program would provide information and guidance to small businesses regarding state rules and procedures as well as referrals to other resources.

According to its sponsor, Rep. Matt Jones, D- Louisville, the navigator would create one point of contact for small businesses that come to the economic development office for assistance. Sponsoring the bill along with Jones are Republican Reps. Marsha Looper, of Calhan, and Tom Massey, of Poncha Springs.

Given the state’s limited resources, Jones said the centralized, one-stop shopping would provide a needed service at no cost.

“It’s a way to do more with less,” said Jones. “We don’t have a lot of money, and it helps small businesses when they have problems.”

Rep. Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, said in last week’s floor debate that the navigator is redundant considering the numerous small-business assistance efforts already in place.

“If this (HB 1209) does not pass, this is not the end of the world. There are people and entities that are guiding small business doing everything they can to ensure their success,” said Liston.

Via - Colorado News Agency

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