September 02, 2015

Senator Gillibrand Announces New Legislation To Help Expand Small Businesses, Boost Manufacturing

Legislation Increases Access to Capital & Helps Smalls Businesses Create & Keep High-Paying, High Skilled Manufacturing Jobs in the U.S.

Plainview, NY – Standing at the Composite Prototyping Center, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced new legislation to help small businesses expand their advanced manufacturing operations and create and keep high-paying, high skilled manufacturing jobs in the United States. Gillibrand introduced the Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company Act of 2015, a bill that would increase capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to scale-up and commercialize their advanced manufacturing and innovation operations.

In August, Gillibrand hosted a series of round tables across New York with the Economic Development Administration to hear from community leaders and entrepreneurs about ways to help grow businesses in the state. This is second bill Gillibrand has introduced aimed at bolstering manufacturing; in March, she announced the bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act (S.771) to enhance advanced workforce training for the 21st century economy. 

“If we want our economy to grow and create more jobs, we need to give small businesses the tools they need to turn their innovative ideas into successful business opportunities and expand their manufacturing operations here at home instead of being forced to outsource that work in order to stay competitive,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company Act will provide critical resources and opportunities for local entrepreneurs and small businesses to bring their innovations to market, and ensure that new technologies are made here in America, creating more jobs and growing our economy.”

“MACNY and the Alliance have long maintained that our sector has always been, and continues to remain the backbone to any thriving economy,” said MACNY and Manufacturers Alliance of New York State Vice President, Communications & Government Relations Karyn Burns. “In order to remain globally competitive, it is critical we provide our sector with the tools needed in order to grow business and expand our manufacturing operations.  Senator Gillibrand’s Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company Act bill does just this: it provides our current and future manufacturing sector with resources and opportunities necessary to be competitive, innovative and grow our operations right here in New York State. On behalf of the statewide manufacturing community, I thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership on this critical issue, and we look forward to working with her to build an even stronger and more robust manufacturing community right here in New York State.”

“We thank Senator Gillibrand for sponsoring the game-changing Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company bill,” said Lenny Poveromo, Executive Director of the Composite Prototyping Center (CPC).  “CPC is a world-class composite prototyping center that enable small/medium sized, upstate/downstate companies to develop composite manufacturing opportunities with the best capital equipment that the Senator's bill will help them purchase resulting in NYS high-paying jobs.”

“We are very proud to be hosting Senator Gillibrand at our Composite Prototyping Center for this important announcement. More importantly, as Long Island’s primary advocate for support of manufacturers, we believe this industry is vitally important for economic growth and job creation,” said Bill Wahlig, Executive Director of the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT), the NYS designated Long Island Regional Technology Development Center and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  “We applaud the Senator’s efforts to accelerate innovative product development and business expansion in the manufacturing sector. We are confident this proposed legislation will help businesses grow and succeed in their advanced manufacturing initiatives.”

“Automated Dynamics’ additive manufacturing technology is reshoring jobs that would otherwise be outsourced to reduce labor costs,” said Dave Hauber, VP of Engineering. “By automating the manufacture of high performance composite structures, we are able to keep jobs in the US and produce a higher quality product. Automated Dynamics is poised for growth, but as a small company, we are limited in our resources to scale-up manufacturing.”

“New tools and equipment are essential to maintain and capture new market share particularly for small manufacturing business,” said John Smith, Cox & Company President and CEO. “The Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company Act will help provide affordable access to new tools, equipment and training. This supports innovations, attracts and keeps talent, and improves our ability to remain cost competitive in the global economy.”

American manufacturers support an estimated 17.6 million jobs in the United States and account for 12 percent of U.S. GDP. Manufacturing also has a higher multiplier effect than any other sector, meaning job creation in manufacturing has an increased impact on the local economy. At the same time, small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce and have generated over 65 percent of net new jobs since 1995 and are hotbeds of innovation.

Yet many small businesses looking to expand their innovation and manufacturing operations cannot get access to the capital they need to do so. As a result of this lack of access to capital, many small innovative businesses that are beginning to succeed and need to expand their manufacturing operations in order to continue to grow are forced to move their ideas and jobs abroad to our international competitors who can provide the financing options these small businesses need to manufacture and commercialize their innovations. For example, a study of manufacturing technology-intensive start-ups licensed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that almost all that scaled up into commercial production did so overseas largely because of far more attractive capital and investment opportunities for manufacturing start-ups. The lack of access to capital not only forces small American business to move their innovations overseas, but it also means New York loses out on high-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs that are created when these small businesses expand and commercialize their products.

Gillibrand’s legislation would help these small businesses expand and create jobs here instead of overseas by giving them access to the capital they need to scale-up and commercialize their innovations. The bill creates a loan program that allows private investment firms to leverage funds provided by the government to help emerging manufacturers commercialize their products. The program, modeled on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC) program, would allow approved participating investment firms to raise capital that would then be invested into emerging manufacturers’ businesses. Any fees, interest, and profits received from the investments would be used to offset the cost of the program.

Gillibrand introduced the legislation on August 4th along with U.S. Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Gary Peters (D-MI). This legislation is supported by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, National Venture Capital Association, Association for Corporate Growth, and the Small Business Investor Alliance.