While the 21st century economy holds the potential for significant growth, individual achievement, and economic mobility, these outcomes are by no means certain, nor are they guaranteed to be widely shared. Too many Americans—especially in small towns—feel vulnerable in this economy and see few avenues for advancement. A chief concern is how to better support small businesses and entrepreneurs that have provided two-thirds of all net new jobs since the Great Recession, and that remain vital to innovation, creating jobs, and a more rapidly expanding economy.
In 2016, Bipartisan Policy Center staff reviewed academic research and conducted interviews with more than 40 stakeholders, academics, and policymakers to evaluate this challenge. In addition, BPC hosted two roundtable discussions: one in Washington, D.C., with members of the National Small Business Administration, and one in Denver with local business and political leaders to hear firsthand the adversities confronting small businesses. Access to credit and capital was repeatedly identified by those interviewed as a key obstacle. Read our report, Confronting the New Economy, for a full description of key themes and findings.