Entrepreneurs are a vital component of a thriving American economy. Indeed, small businesses represent 99% of all employer firms and account for half of our nation’s jobs and economic output, and their creativity spurs innovation in all sectors of the economy. That’s why it’s important to take time to appreciate our country’s entrepreneurs during November, which is National Entrepreneurship Month.
Small business owners are suffering from weak sales and decreased customer demand, and on top of that, a lack of access to credit. It is difficult for small business owners to access the credit that will help them grow, hire and jumpstart the economy. Our new opinion polling shows an overwhelming 90% of small business owners nationwide agree the availability of credit for small businesses is a problem, and 61% agree it’s harder to get a loan now than it was four years ago.
Small businesses have become a key weapon in politicians’ arsenals when arguing for practically any policy that has an economic impact. Policies associated with the current tax debate are no exception. Countless rounds of legislative battles have been and will continue to be fought over whether small businesses will be hurt if tax breaks for high income earners are allowed to expire at the end of 2012.
As small business owners prepare to close the books on 2012, our country is fast approaching the edge of what’s been dubbed the “fiscal cliff.” This critical situation—created by a host of tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, coupled with billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that will be triggered if Congress and the president can’t agree on a way to reduce the deficit by year’s end—has dire consequences for small businesses. Many of the tax provisions set to expire benefit small businesses and the middle class, small businesses’ core customer base.
For the second time since the summer of 2011, Congress is debating whether or not to raise the federal debt ceiling—the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow. While addressing our debt is an important issue that carries weight for small business and the economy, some politicians have been misusing the debt ceiling as a mechanism for furthering their own partisan agendas. Short-term solutions lead to uncertainty for small businesses and our job creators want our leaders to put this issue to rest.
Small businesses are one of the most respected constituencies in the country, and certainly one of the most courted by policymakers in Washington. However, small businesses are also a group that legislators and the general public understand little about—the very smallest ones, especially. Those businesses are known as “micro businesses.”
The president’s State of the Union speech last night touched on many of small business owners’ key concerns, particularly increasing consumer demand by strengthening the middle class, closing corporate tax loopholes and ensuring open and fair Internet access for all. What’s more, the president highlighted the importance of small businesses and the middle class—the engine of small business prosperity.
There are many complex policy issues that have a major impact on the small business community. Each week, we’re going to help break one of those issues down so small business owners can stay in the know and remain aware of their stake in these national issues. This week’s Issue Q&A is on access to capital.
Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, regarding data released Wednesday by ADP showing small businesses continue to drive job growth in the United States