The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated on June 7 that H.R.1648, the Small Business Advanced Cybersecurity Enhancements Act of 2019, will cost about $2 million annually to implement, and $11 million in total between 2019 and 2024, if the bill is enacted.

The legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, would amend the Small Business Act to create enhanced cybersecurity assistance and protections for small businesses.

The bill would “direct the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish a central small business cybersecurity assistance unit within the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in the Department of Homeland Security.” In total, 63 small business development centers (SBDCs) would be required to establish regional cybersecurity assistance units to work with small businesses and to coordinate with the central small business cybersecurity assistance unit, the CBO explained. The units would “serve as the primary interface for small business concerns to receive and share cyber threat indicators and defensive measures with the Federal government.”

CBO said its estimate covers creation and operation of the central small business cybersecurity assistance unit for the 2019-2024 time period, and additional funding for the operations of regional cybersecurity assistance units at the SBDCs. CBO said that spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.