Blaine’s Bulletin: National Small Business Week
Washington, May 6, 2022
Tags: Small Business
Small businesses are the embodiment of the American Dream. There is something profound about entrepreneurs across the country betting on themselves and their communities to be their support systems, while simultaneously providing good jobs and economic growth. It is because of small business owners that Main Street America – including many of the smaller and more rural towns like here in the Third District – can continue to thrive.
This week we are celebrating Small Business Week and all the good that small, local, and independently owned businesses do for our state and our country. There are 32 million small businesses in this country that spur economic growth, support nearly 61 million jobs, and spearhead innovation. Small Business Week also happened to be a District Work Week for Congress, so I have been able to meet with business owners across the Third District for the past several days. These Missourians keep our towns going, and we are lucky to have so many people who see the importance of investing in the place we all call home.
Last week, I introduced the Improve the SBA Act in an effort to get the federal government out of the way for small businesses across the country so they can continue to reinvigorate our economy. My role as the top Republican on the House Small Business Committee has allowed me even deeper insight into what issues are facings our nation’s small business owners, and this bill seeks to remedy as many of these problems as possible. First and foremost, it would reform the Small Business Administration (SBA) so the agency runs more efficiently to best serve small businesses without unnecessary regulation. The bill would also ensure integrity in the SBA’s counseling services and increase the agency’s outreach to rural and smaller communities across the country, where small businesses can have an especially large footprint. The IMPROVE the SBA Act would also get the SBA out of the direct lending business – something history has shown it is clearly not equipped for – and empower private sector lending so that small business owners can continue to work with their local lenders who know them best. And finally, this bill would provide increased Congressional oversight over this often unreliable agency and more transparency to the American public. According to the SBA Inspector General just the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program has squandered up to $84 billion in fraudulent loans over the past two years. Clearly my reforms are badly needed.
With the heart, long hours and flat out hard work that goes into running a small business, they have always played a special role in towns across America. But the pandemic really put it all into perspective, and communities rallied behind their friends and neighbors who run small businesses to help them stay afloat. The local hardware store, ice cream shop, restaurants, florists, barbers – and so much more – are integral to the fabric of towns here in Missouri and across America, and COVID showed that small businesses need us just as much as we need them. They keep our local economies humming along while creating good job opportunities for friends and neighbors in the community, but they also need our support to accomplish these things. The economic situation our nation is facing has made operating a small business an uphill battle, with record high job U.S. openings being reported and inflation numbers that won’t stop making history. Small businesses need our continued support as they face this economic headwind, and I hope you’ll join me in shopping small whenever possible so they and the communities they serve can keep thriving.