The Current Reality
Year after year, small businesses consistently make up over 99% of all businesses in America. In 2016, small businesses employed approximately 48% of the total workforce and created 1.8 million new jobs – 1.2 million of which were jobs in businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Although large and wealthy corporations dominate the news and control our current politicians, in reality, small businesses are the core of communities like CA-34.
Small businesses empower immigrants and people of color to realize the American dream just as David and his parents and family members were able to, be it through being employed by a small business or owning one. Thus, as an employee and a previous small business owner, David is all too familiar with the setbacks encountered when running a small business and the lack of direct helpful support for small businesses all around.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers various funding and advisory programs for small businesses, but they are often difficult to access and require a complicated application process. The federal government does not do enough to help individuals launch small businesses and instead has prioritized cutting taxes for the rich and giving bailouts to irresponsible banks and large corporations. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Congress can provide better, direct assistance to small businesses, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and related disaster assistance funding. These federal programs should not only be available during times of crisis but be available to help small businesses across the nation prosper at all times.
What Needs To Be Done
Increase SBA Funding and Expand Programs:
- Create a free national Helpline with professional business and tax advisors who can provide direct advice to small business owners and link owners with relevant SBA grants/programs tailored to their needs. The Helpline would be available in all languages.
- Create a federal program to advise and support small businesses facing closure or bankruptcy.
- Strengthen antitrust laws and reform patent and trademark laws to protect small businesses from large corporations (like Amazon) that stifle innovation and prevent small businesses from entering the market, as suggested by Senator Elizabeth Warren.
- Make it easier and more efficient to apply for assistance from the SBA. Get rid of “red tape” that adds burdens on small businesses without adding any value.
- Streamline the HUBZone application and approval process to fuel small business growth in historically underutilized business zones.
- Expand and make permanent the “Community Navigator” program started by the American Rescue Plan.
- Utilize the power of all federal agencies to improve and strengthen supply chains, especially in times of crisis.
Create Small Business Financing and Loan Programs Under a Public Bank:
- Create a public banking system to cut out private Wall Street lenders that, under the current system, only provide SBA loans with less than desirable terms and require unnecessary and duplicative bank approvals.
- Mandate stricter accountability measures and fraud detection to ensure federal funds are going to small businesses and not abused by large corporations that do not actually need the money.
- Distribute small business start-up grants, in addition to loans, for green and veteran-owned businesses.
Encourage Investment in Local Communities:
- Support worker cooperatives.
- Create a federal program that offers commercial real estate to small business owners at less than market value, similar to HUD’s “Good Neighbor Next Door” Program.
- Stop the Trump Administration’s abuse of “Economic Opportunity Zones” by giving tax credits to any American who starts a business in an opportunity zone – not just rich developers and investors.
- Redefine the size and revenue standards that define a small business to make more funding available to even more businesses. Engage partnerships with large local businesses to give back to the communities they started in.
What This Will Do For Us
We need members of Congress that will prioritize the prosperity of all rather than the prosperity of the few.
Help us create prosperity for all and join the movement.
Most recent SBA strategic plan: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/SBA_FY_2018-2022_Strategic_Plan.pdf