A bipartisan, bicameral legislation to improve cybersecurity resources for small businesses was introduced Thursday. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Cyber Training Act will expand efforts to train SBDC employees to become certified in cyber strategy counseling.

Senator Gary Peters (MI) introduced the legislation in the Senate with Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, John Kennedy (R-LA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chair of the House Small Business Committee, and Dwight Evans (D-PA) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Many small business owners lack the capital and expertise they need to prevent a cybersecurity attack. Unfortunately, one simple hit can destroy everything a small business owner has created. That’s why we need to ensure small businesses have access to the best cybersecurity resources and information possible.  Providing cybersecurity training to lead small business development center employees will broaden their expertise to help more small businesses prevent an attack and potentially help save their companies,” said Chairman Chabot.

The SBDC Cyber Training Act would require a percentage of SBDC employees to become certified in cyber strategy counseling, a method proven effective for export trade counseling. Without costing taxpayers more money, the Act would utilize already existing Small Business Administration (SBA) conferences to provide cyber strategy training to at least 20 percent of SBDC employees.

Relying on the SBA’s expertise in training small businesses, the Act allows that agency to come up with new programming and to certify existing cyber education at SBDCs.

“Our small business owners and entrepreneurs are the engines that drive people to live, grow and succeed in our neighborhoods. We know that our small business community faces increasing cyber threats in our ever changing and evolving global economy. I am proud to join with my colleagues in the House and Senate to introduce bipartisan legislation that equips our small business owners and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to keep their businesses safe, secure and protected. Our small businesses depend on the essential resources that our Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide and I will continue to set forth legislation that allows our small businesses and SBDC’s to continue to thrive and prosper,” said Rep. Dwight Evans.