When we rely on a car to take us where we need to go, our number one priority is ensuring it has plenty of fuel. Policymakers must do the same when it comes to our nation’s greatest vehicles for economic growth and opportunity: our entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Small businesses account for roughly half of private sector jobs, and are responsible for approximately 60 percent of net new jobs since 1995. Sufficient credit and financing enables their success. Yet, many small businesses struggle to access funding at reasonable terms. We cannot allow this obstacle to needlessly shortchange America’s future.
Research reveals that when small businesses can quickly access the capital they require, they grow the economy and raise wages. However, new regulations, emerging technology and the decline of lending based on relationships with customers have created new issues and challenges for policymakers to explore. We believe that policymakers can and should address these issues with bipartisan solutions.
Olympia Snowe is a member of BPC’s board of directors, a senior fellow at the organization and co-chair of its Commission on Political Reform. Karen Mills is co-chair of BPC’s Task Force on Main Street Finance.