LB450: Innovation Hubs to grow and support Nebraska small businesses

Provide business advice as well as stay up to date on the latest technology

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- LB450 would create innovation hubs for small businesses and entrepreneurs to access help all across the state.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of any community,” said Bud Synhorst President and CEO of Lincoln Independent Business Association.
“I think it’s important as a state as we go towards the future to prioritize this and make sure that we are empowering our small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and be successful so that they can employ more Nebraskans overall,” said Senator Terrell McKinney.

Senator Terrell McKinney introduced LB 450 in an effort to help economic development throughout the state by creating innovation hubs.

“Innovation Hubs, or an innovation hub program for the state would be a place within our communities where individuals who are in small business or entrepreneurs can go to get assistance with starting up their business, business accountants, and things like that,” said Senator McKinney.

This bill would expand services already being offered.  Each hub would consist of a University, research center, or institution, and at least one economic development organization.

“This hub situation has actually been around in Nebraska for quite some time and has actually been done through the universities, through the community colleges and even some of the high schools so to have the state backing behind it would actually be substantial,” said Tim Mittan District Director U.S. Small Business Administration.

As technology advances, these IHubs would help small businesses stay up to date.

“The bill has stated that they are trying to get internet technology and cyber security throughout all of the rural areas and that is phenomenal for the State of Nebraska. Cyber security is one of the number one reasons why some of the small businesses fail because they get attacked,” said Mittan.

“If we are not doing anything to build up our small businesses and entrepreneurs, were going to be left behind,” said Senator McKinney.

The Lincoln Independent Business Association has not decided how they stand on this bill specifically but spoke on what issues they are hearing from small businesses in Lincoln, especially with new mandates or rules over the last two years.

“Both to get people to work, and to get people to come out and shop in those stores. You know they are looking for ways that maybe the government can make life a little easier for them instead of a little harder for them,” said Synhorst.

In order to make innovation hubs a reality, around $600,000 would come from the American Rescue Plan Act funds over the next two years.  This bill should hit the debate floor for the first round of debate later this week.

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