The House Small Business Committee this week approved legislation aimed at helping small businesses cope with rising energy costs.

The Small Business Energy Efficient Business Act provides flexible loan terms for small firms seeking to acquire energy efficient technologies while boosting federal investment in the development of renewable energy sources and other technologies by small businesses.

The bill also requires the Small Business Administration to offer energy efficiency workshops and other programs through Small Business Development Centers.

"Small businesses are the first to be affected by rising energy prices, and small businesses will be the first to find the solutions," Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship, said in a statement.

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