This bill would reauthorize the SCORE program for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program is a non-profit subsidiary of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides free or low-cost counseling, mentoring, and workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs related to the operations of their businesses. These counseling services can include developing a business plan, or providing marketing and finance advice.
Based on business experience and knowledge, SCORE volunteers would:
Provide personal counseling, mentoring, and coaching relating to the experience of starting, expanding, managing, buying, and selling a business to current or aspiring small business owners;
Facilitate low-cost education workshops for individuals who own, or aspire to own, small business concerns.
The SBA Administrator would be authorized to make grants or enter into cooperative agreements that total less than $10.5 million for each of the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years. These grants and cooperative agreements would help achieve the goals each chapter of the SCORE program established for itself.
The SBA would ensure that the program and each of its chapters develop and implement plans and goals to provide services more effectively and efficiently to individuals in rural areas, economically disadvantaged communities, and other traditionally underserved communities. This would include plans for electronic initiatives, web-based initiatives, chapter expansion, partnerships, and the development of new skills by participating volunteers.
The SCORE Association would:
Make use of online counseling, including by webinars and an an electronic mentoring platform;
Study the future role of the program;
Develop a strategic plan for how the program will evolve to meet the needs of small business concerns over the next five years.
The SBA Administrator and the SCORE Association would be prohibited from disclosing the contact information of a person or business participating in the program without their consent.