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The Long Road Enlightening travels find SBDC funding reaching new lows, generous big guys and inspiring entrepreneurs.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I had a very busy September traveling across the country meetinghundreds of entrepreneurs and the people trying to help them. I wasleft feeling frustrated and exhilarated--all at the same time.

A few months ago, I wrote about how Congress had yet to pass theSweeney bill. The legislation, officially the National SmallBusiness Regulatory Assistance Act of 2005, was reintroduced in theSenate this past July by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the rankingminority member of the Committee on Small Business andEntrepreneurship, and co-sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME),the chair of that committee. At press time, the bill has not yetbeen passed.

One of my September stops was at the annual Association of SmallBusiness Development Centers convention, where I reconnected withold friends and met some new ones. Don Wilson, CEO and president ofthe ASBDC, told me he was hopeful that Congress would take actionand pass the bill.

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