It’s National Small Business Week, and a leading advocate for entrepreneurs is urging elected officials and policymakers to move beyond mere words proclaiming the importance of small businesses. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said that the vitality of the U.S. economy is dependent upon the potency of small businesses and startup activity, and until there is strong growth and confidence within this critical sector, the economy and quality job creation will only limp along. Bold actions, she proclaimed, are sorely needed to support small business growth and new business creation.
“Entrepreneurs need a supportive policy environment to encourage confidence, growth and risk-taking. But they are getting a non-stop wave of new and changing federal rules and regulations that feed uncertainty and pile real burdens and costs onto their businesses. For many small businesses, this era of hyper-regulation has extended the hardships of the recession. And unfortunately this has taken a toll on the overall health of U.S. economy. The recovery is the weakest on record-but strong and growing small businesses would change that. Moreover, new business creation and startups have not bounced back at all, which means the U.S. is not replenishing its small business stock when firms go out-of-business or fail. Policies need to change,” said Kerrigan.
According to Kerrigan, the U.S. continues to fall in its international ranking in terms of ease of business startup. To make matters worse, access to capital remains difficult and general uncertainty as to the future strength of the economy negatively impacts the environment for risk-taking.
“Yes, there are always opportunities to start new businesses, even in times of great economic turmoil, but this comes with great risk. As we are seeing in the data, fewer people are taking that risk. The shortage of startups impacts job creation and the future of innovation,” added Kerrigan.
Kerrigan is urging leaders in Congress to step up and address the entrepreneurial crises. She adds that a host of legislative proposals exist that would boost new business creation and small business growth. For example, the bipartisan Startup Act of 2015focuses on regulatory burden for startups, creates a new Visa for immigrant entrepreneurs, strengthens the R&D tax credit for small businesses and creates incentives to invest in startups. Kerrigan also said the Security & Exchange Commission needs to finish the job on Title III of the Jumpstart Our Businesses Startup Act, which made debt and equity crowdfunding legal. This long overdue action would unleash capital for startups and entrepreneurs. It’s been more than three years since President Obama signed the legislation.
Kerrigan urged Congress and President Obama to tackle big reforms as well – for example, overhauling the nation’s tax code, revamping and modernizing the regulatory system, and opening new international markets for entrepreneurs via trade agreements. There is bipartisan support in each of these areas. However, if Congress and President Obama cannot find a way to reach agreement on these big issues Kerrigan said Washington should not impose any more harm.
“The most productive thing Washington can do right now is to stop the intrusive regulation and make temporary tax measures like Section 179 expensing permanent. On regulation, enough is enough. Nearly every agency that touches small businesses is considering – or has implemented – burdensome rulemakings that affect everything from the availability of capital to the cost of energy, health coverage and broadband access; to how small businesses manage employees to the future of franchising in America. The regulatory environment is currently a small business and startup destroyer. The Washington regulators are out-of-control and they need to be contained,” exclaimed Kerrigan.
SBE Council is a nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For more than twenty years, SBE Council has worked to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business success. For more information visit www.sbecouncil.org. Follow on Twitter @SBECouncil.
SOURCE Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council