AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It starts with an idea. And people who tap in the Georgia Cyber Center for help launching that plan can eventually see it turn into a small business.

“The great economy that we had before COVID, 70 percent of those new jobs were created by entrepreneurs,” said Rep. Rick Allen, (R) Georgia.

Congressman Allen wants to see people go back to work after job loss during the pandemic. He said the Augusta area is already growing, and his Startup Act would help other Peach State areas not moving as quickly as well as other states.

“The federal government would block grant the funds direct to the states,” he explained. “The states would then be able to work with local communities to fund teachers and equipment to teach and train workers.”

Eric Parker who founded runs a program called Make Startups. The 12 week venture would aid business owners in getting StartUp Act money from the Department of Workforce Development.

“There’s a real gap that exist in the market of supporting entrepreneurs. It really is focused on the businesses in their first two years. We have an SBA process in our country, but for the most part you have to be in business for at least two years in order to qualify for that loan,” Parker said.

In Richmond County, Parker said 187 disadvantaged entrepreneurs would qualify for StartUp Act funding every year. It’s about 50 people each year in Columbia County and nearly 70 in Aiken County, South Carolina. It’s an investment already producing fruit as he adds in the past 10 years, has helped start 200 businesses, which then produced 1500 jobs.

The bill would also authorize the Department of Labor to review the programs and report back to Congress.