Bustos Raises Questions After Hearing Concerns from Local Business Leaders

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) requested information from the Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding services they offer for business succession planning. Congresswoman Bustos raised these questions after listening to the experiences of community business leaders at economic roundtable discussions this year in Canton, Freeport, Galesburg and Sterling, Illinois. Community business leaders expressed concerns over who would manage local businesses should their owners move on to new opportunities, retire or pass away.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “At our economic roundtables, we heard the stories of a family farmer who chose to sell their farm rather than pass it on to a local next generation farmer and a small town that lost their dry cleaner when the owner retired. To address this issue, we must ensure local business owners have the support they need to plan for future leadership transitions and sustain economic output in our communities.”

Read the full letter HERE.

The SBA offers services to help prepare for business succession. SBA district offices and various management and training resource partners – like Small Business Development Centers, Women Business Centers and SCORE – provide free counseling on business succession.

Congresswoman Bustos asked the following questions to help ensure businesses are aware of these services and able to take advantage of them:

  1. What steps is the SBA and partners taking to make local businesses aware of these free counseling services?
  2. In the last three years, how many businesses utilized SBA and partners’ free business succession counseling? How many of these businesses are rural or minority owned businesses?
  3. How many SBA and partner employees across the country specialize in business succession planning? How many of these employees are located in rural communities?
  4. Is the SBA planning to place additional emphasis on succession planning in the near future?