Watch the videos from the event below.
Charlotte, NC, June 8, 2021—
The national campaign coordinator of the “Reform the SBA: BIGGER Mission, Authority and Resources” campaign was in Charlotte today. Frank Knapp was joined by three African-American women business owners in the Charlotte area: Julie Logan of Popcorn Heaven-Steel Creek, Alethia Brown of Mahogany Productions and Shanell Varner of Moonglade Travel.
National, state, and local business organizations have come together for the campaign calling for reforms in Washington to address the nation’s 40-year low in new business start ups.
“Every small business owner and entrepreneur, especially in rural and underserved areas and particularly if they are a minority or a woman, immediately identifies the roadblocks to entrepreneurship,” said Knapp, who is also the president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
“Politicians are fond of saying that small business is the backbone of our economy. Well, that backbone is deteriorating,” said Knapp.
“We need more entrepreneurs like Julie Logan, Alethia Brown and Shanell Varner, especially in our rural and underserved communities,” says Knapp. “Locally-owned small businesses are the short and long-term sustainable solution to the economic growth we need. We are being held back by barriers to entrepreneurship.”
Lack of access to capital, neglected universal small business needs, regulations, and federal procurement are all areas needing reform according to the campaign. (Facts and several recommendations below)
American Independent Business Alliance American Sustainable Business Council
Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce Latin American Chamber of Commerce—Charlotte
Latino Communications Community Dev. Corp National Cooperative Business Association
North Carolina Business Council Sumter Black Chamber of Commerce
South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Triad Local First U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. is at a 40-year low in small business startups. (here, here, here)
- Economists tell us that all net-new jobs in the nation are created by businesses less than five years old and that have four or fewer employees.
- The number of commercial banks declined from 14,400 to 4,600 since 1980, a 68% drop due to consolidations and failures. (SBA Office of Advocacy)
- There are 8,000 declines each business day for people seeking business credit from traditional banks. (Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew)
- Small businesses’ confidence that they can get loans dropped from 50% in March 2020 to 37% one year later. (QuickBooks)
- The average small business startup only needs $10,000 and micro businesses only need on average $3,000 in startup financing. (Intuit and LendEDU)
- There are only about 216 a Community Development Financial Institutions out of 1264 providing small business startup loans.
- In FY2020 the nation’s 175 SBA approved small business micro lenders made 5,890 loans averaging $14,434—only 33.4 loans per lender per year. (SBA)
- Between FY 2017 and FY 2020 the U.S. Government lost 24% small businesses suppliers. Fewer small businesses are even trying to compete for federal contracts. (US Women’s Chamber of Commerce)
- The SBA must be given the mission to lead the nation out of the small business startup slump.
- Conduct a comprehensive study into the underlying factors driving the 40-year low in new business startups. (Section 6301 of the “Innovation and Competition Act”-S.1260)
- Establish a direct federal small-business loan program (ex. loans under $20,000) primarily within the SBA for entrepreneurs and micro businesses that includes the requirement of loan recipients receiving the proper small business operational knowledge (ex. bookkeeping, computer skills), technical assistance, training, and coaching (pre- and post-loan) from existing SBA technical assistance programs.
- Provide more federal funding for CDFI Loan Fund Organizations.
- Fix barrier to cooperatives and ESOPS being eligible for SBA guaranteed loans. (Addressed in the “Capital for Cooperatives Act” introduced March 20, 2021.)
- Create a federal paid family and medical leave program for small businesses. (Addressed in the April 28, 2021, “American Family Act” and the “Building an Economy for Families Act” introduced on April 27, 2021.)
- Dramatically increase resources for the SBA Office of the National Ombudsman for regulatory compliance assistance in order to provide assistance to small businesses struggling with regulations instead of penalizing them.
- Increase all percentage goals for small business contracting in general and subgroups. (On June 1, 2021, the Biden Administration has committed to increase federal government contract to small disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2026.)
- Use the SBA’s existing authority under the Small Business Act to rebuild the nation’s small business economy in general and specifically create a Small Business Defend America initiative for Department of Defense procurement and use the SBA authority to be a DOD prime contractor, create Defense Production Pools and target specific small businesses (ex. veterans) for subcontracting.
Watch the videos from the event below.