Supporting Small Business
Across the 27,000 square miles of the 8th Congressional District, economies vary from agriculture to mining to healthcare. However, one thing remains consistent: small businesses create vibrant communities. It is imperative that federal legislators support small business owners to realize their fullest potential and Leah intends to do just that.
- Work aggressively to strengthen the ability for small businesses to secure lending options through both the SBA and local banks.
- Work across the aisle to help ensure that federal agencies fully consider the impact of proposed regulations on small businesses and modernize the more than 70-year-old Administrative Procedure Act.
- Support legislation that strengthens engagement between career and technical education providers and local business leaders. This increased coordination ensures students gain skills for jobs that exist in their communities, fulfilling the needs of local small businesses.
- Sponsor legislation that ensures paid parental leave for mothers and fathers.
Small businesses are the backbone of U.S. economy. The U.S. Small Business Administration noted in their Small Business Quarterly Bulletin that, “Since 2014, small businesses have created 2 out of 3 net new jobs.” Firms with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment (see Figure 1 for further detail). According to the organization Strong Towns, started here in Minnesota, there are 10 things small businesses need to thrive:
- A friendly regulatory environment.
- A strong entrepreneurial support system.
- A culture of community support.
- Access to quality employees/talent pool.
- Strong community mentors to help entrepreneurs navigate what they don’t know.
- Orchestrated growth around them.
- A safe, clean environment in which to operate.
- Access to capital.
- Access to leadership and business training.
- A commitment to promoting innovation and startups.
The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), another organization with strong Minnesota ties, reports that changes in some federal rules could help provide financing needed to support growth of local businesses:
According to the ILSR, one solution to inadequate financing is to exempt loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees from the current cap on credit union financing for businesses. This would ensure that truly small businesses benefit from new credit union lending practices, rather than simply allowing a few large national credit unions (the only ones close to hitting the current cap) to increase large business loans. Leah supports and looks forward to introducing legislation to respond to ILSR’s recommendation.