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Op-Ed: SBA ignites small business, fueling economic engine, creating more jobs

Economic vitality means tomorrow will be better than today. Small business owners across the Atlantic Region of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are currently witnessing record-setting growth; it’s a boon to the backbone of the American economy. 

With
more than 97 percent of businesses in the United States being small businesses —
employing 500 or less people — the U.S. Small Business Administration is at the
foreground of accelerating growth, listening to entrepreneurs to reduce
burdensome regulations and providing the capital and guidance to refuel small
business in today’s new era.

The
“SBA IGNITE Tour” kicked off in 2017 under the leadership of Administrator
Linda McMahon, engaging communities, small businesses, Chambers of Commerce and
community leaders across our nation. 

The
Atlantic Region has been a key part of the IGNITE Tour; New York City was McMahon’s
second visit as part of this initiative. In fact, McMahon has visited our
region as part of IGNITE more five times, among the top in the nation.

Listening
to what is on the minds of small business owners is one of the SBA’s top
priorities.  After all, the more than 30
million small businesses nationwide employ more than 51 percent of the American
workforce. 

Engaging
in one-on-one conversations with businesspeople, we have learned a lot.  Simply put, from our discussions and
historical data, we know that when small businesses are strong, not only does
America do well but so does our economy.

In
speaking with entrepreneurs, both the administrator and I have found that the
statistic of small business optimism being at its highest point in more than three
decades is accurate.  According to the
National Federation of Independent Businesses, small business owners continue
hiring, creating new jobs and raising employee compensation at record
levels. 

These record-breaking figures are driven by small business owners executing on plans they’ve put in place due to dramatic positive changes in the nation’s economic policy more than the past two years. This is phenomenal news for the American workforce.

The
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, was the point
from which this started. The taxpayer-friendly measure that President Trump
strongly advocated for simplified the tax filing process; it now allows both
individuals and small businesses to keep more of their own money. 

With
a lower tax rate, small businesses have additional resources available that
they can use to grow and expand their operations. That’s precisely why NFIB’s
Chief Economist, Bill Dunkelberg, said in a recent economic forecast that
“[b]ased on small business employment and hiring plans, owners aren’t expecting
much of an economic slowdown in the first half of the year.” (NFIB, 1/31/2019)

Moremore
than, at a Small Business Roundtable in Oriskany, New York that I attended with
Administrator McMahon,  the owner of A&P
Master Images, Howard Potter, remarked that “[i]t’s getting to a point where
you have all these regulations, there’s not enough people that can explain the
regulation or help that business understand the regulation to invest in
growth.” 

McMahon
agreed and vowed to press for changes. At a different IGNITE Tour roundtable in
Syracuse’s Tech Garden, numerous “business owners generally agreed that lower
federal taxes would give them more control more than their profits and help
them expand.” (Syracuse Post-Standard, 11/6/17). Our Atlantic Region is proof
positive of these results. 

Both
McMahon and I have traveled across the Atlantic Region during the IGNITE Tour –
from New York City to Buffalo and from Newark to Puerto Rico – with a laser-focused
mission: listen to entrepreneurs, small business owners and community leaders
concerning tax reform, regulations and access to capital; educate neighbors about
the SBA’s services and programs to help them succeed; vociferously advocate for
small businesses in Washington and be their strong voice in the nation’s
capital; and push policies resulting in economic growth that yields jobs
creation and a thriving economy.

It’s
a winning strategy that has yielded economic results that are hard to argue
with. The most recent NFIB’s monthly Jobs Report showed that a
seasonally-adjusted net 18 percent of small business owners plan to create new
jobs for their business. 

What’s
more, 23 percent plan to increase total employment at their firm and just 3
percent plan worker reductions. Owners continue to report increasing employee
compensation, with a net 36 percent of entrepreneurs reporting higher
compensation in January 2019, up one point from December 2018.  A net 20 percent of owners are also planning
increases in the next few months, predicting further gains in wages and
benefits. (NFIB, 1/31/2019)

In
city after city, town after town, business leaders continue to crow about the
incredible state of small business in America; they appreciate President Donald
J. Trump’s focus on tax reform and deregulation — two items that are helping
small businesses thrive. 

By
relieving businesses from time-consuming and outdated regulations, small
businesses will no longer be bogged down by costly paperwork that has stifled
innovation and slowed economic growth for far too long. 

The
Trump administration’s regulatory reforms and the tax relief bill passed by
Congress and signed into law by the president will continue resulting in “very
strong growth, millions more jobs and higher pay for Americans.” And we’re
already seeing that happen: small business confidence has hit a record high,
jobless claims are at record lows and the economy is growing faster than it has
in a decade. (NFIB, 1/31/2019)

Working
with McMahon, we’ve consistently directed our federal government resources to deliver
services across the Atlantic Region, operating under one aligned mission: small
business job creation and strengthening our economy. 

These
two items are our agency’s mission and what we are committed to achieving
during our public service.  We will
continue to ignite small businesses that fuels our economic engine and creates
more American jobs.

Author Details
This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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