Committee Marks Up Amata-Cosponsored Bill Supporting Small Business Development Centers

September 25, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed progress for the Small Business Development Centers Improvements Act, H.R. 4406. She cosponsored this legislation, and the Committee on Small Business passed the bill with bipartisan support.

“We have a Small Business Development Center in American Samoa, and almost all the businesses serving our people day to day are small businesses,” said Aumua Amata. “The job of these centers is to help our small businesses at the local level, with the goal of strengthening our entrepreneurs’ efforts allowing them to grow, create jobs and ultimately build successful, lasting businesses.”

“I thank Vice Ranking Member Amata for her hard work on this bill,” said Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH).  “This legislation will help to streamline the SBA and SBDC processes and reduce programmatic duplication to maximize the program’s impact on America’s small businesses.”

Small Business Development Centers, known as SBDCs, include locations in every state and territory. The American Samoa SBDC is a partnership between the Small Business Administration and the American Samoa Community College. The program is based at the college, and includes available business development counseling services.

Amata and small business owner Nate Ilaoa
Congresswoman Amata with small business owner Nate Ilaoa visiting his family’s start-up brewery business. Also pictured, her daughter, Erika Leatavalavala Radewagen.


“This bill contributes to the overall vision for the SBDC program, and each local SBDC then works with small businesses one by one to achieve their next goals,” said Congresswoman Amata. “The success of any single small business is a help to the local economy, which in turn benefits the entire community, and ultimately, even the national economic outlook.”

“I want to especially thank Jason Betham for directing the SBDC here in American Samoa, and the SBDC team including Catherine Balauro, Talalelei Pu'a, and Margaret Lilomaiava,” concluded Amata. “We can all be involved in looking for ways to support and build up our families and villages including one business improvement at a time.”