Today, U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) introduced a bipartisan bill to support innovative startups across the country by establishing a competitive grant program for incubator networks. Incubators help startups by providing resources such as low-cost space, access to capital, business counseling, and mentorship opportunities during their early stages of development. According to a study conducted for the Economic Development Administration, investment in business incubators has a large impact on community economic development, with investment in incubators creating 20 times more jobs than other community investment projects.

Senator Hawley said, "From rural areas to cities, small businesses are a key source of jobs and innovation in our economy. But new small businesses face particular challenges in rural areas. This bill aims to help fix that. By expanding the reach of much-needed resources to help guide rural entrepreneurs, this legislation will help transform more rural startups into successful small businesses."

Senator Hassan said, "When innovative Granite Staters have an idea for a new business, incubators can play a critical role in helping transform those startups into successful small businesses. As part of my ongoing commitment to helping innovative businesses thrive in New Hampshire and across the country, I introduced this bipartisan bill so that incubators can team up to give even more support to the startups that they work with."

Senator Hawley and Hassan's Incubator Network and Startup Success Act would create an annual competitive grant program within the Economic Development Agency’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The bill would allocate $2 million in annual funding to provide competitive grants of $50,000 to each incubator that is a member of a current or planned network. Networked incubators would be required to raise private capital to match the award 1-to-1 and to demonstrate that awards could be successfully leveraged to expand access to the programs available throughout the network—including in rural areas.

For more details on Senators Hawley and Hassan's new bipartisan bill, click here.