Curtis, Finkenauer introduce bipartisan rural economic development bill

Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) released the following statements after introducing H.R. 246, the Stimulating Innovation through Procurement Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation will bring federal investment to small businesses in rural America.

“To remain economically and globally competitive, it is critical that we continue promoting technological innovation, research, and development,” said Curtis.“I am proud to join with Representative Finkenauer in finding a bipartisan and commonsense solution to protect federal investments into small business innovation and technological research that will help innovators in Utah and across the country succeed.” 

“The folks I’ve spoken with across the district want to be able to stay and build a life in the communities that raised them. When Washington talks about innovation, it can’t afford to just think about the Coasts. I grew up in rural Iowa and I know that small businesses are vital to the growth of communities across our state,” said Finkenauer. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that will help those businesses grow and allow the next generation of Iowans to innovate right here in our state.”


To help put innovative small firms on the map, Congress created the Small Business Innovative Research program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. These initiatives provide capital and other support to allow small businesses to engage in federal research and development with the goal of commercialization.

The bill would help more small businesses access the SBIR and STTR programs, especially in rural communities. Specifically, the bill would require acquisition personnel to conduct outreach so more small firms can benefit from the SBIR and STTR programs.