Empowering Job Creators in America’s Diverse Small Business Communities
by Marie Johns, Former SBA Deputy Administrator
- Created: September 30, 2011, 10:47 am
- Updated: September 30, 2011, 1:23 pm
Small business entrepreneurship is part of my very fiber. My grandfather was one of the first people of color to win a state contract in Indiana for his lawn-care business. Later, he helped my uncle start his own pharmacy in Indianapolis when others wouldn’t hire him simply because of the color of his skin.
Today, there are two people in Washington who have been fighting harder than ever for America’s diverse small businesses and the workers they hire: President Obama and Vice President Biden. This month alone, both of them have shown a deep commitment to helping minorities and minority-owned firms.
First, the President announced the American Jobs Act. The number one priority of this bill is to help small businesses do what they do best – create jobs. It’s a smart, bipartisan, paid-for plan that puts money in their pockets to help them hire.
Congress should pass it right away to help create jobs in minority communities nationwide. It would cut in half the payroll taxes for America’s small businesses, including about 750,000 minority-owned employers. The bill will also give these businesses tax credits of up to $4,000 for hiring folks who have been unemployed for many months, an incentive that is particularly crucial to helping lower the high unemployment rate in minority communities.
In addition, the bill provides more retraining resources, more tools, and more flexibility for states to help unemployed workers get hired or, in some cases, create their own job by starting a business. Again, this is absolutely essential for helping Americans in underserved communities.
He joined SBA Administrator Karen Mills last week to make a major announcement that the Administration had helped secure $20 billion in commitments from 13 of our nation’s top banks to increase their small business lending over the next three years. Many of these banks will focus their efforts on underserved communities where entrepreneurs and business owners are still having too much trouble getting the credit they need to start and grow their businesses. This broader pipeline of capital will help them buy inventory, take on that next order, and – most importantly – hire workers to get the job done.
Overall, in my many years working with small businesses in my local chamber of commerce and as business executive, I’ve never seen an Administration that is more active, more engaged, and more committed – from the top down – to helping minorities grow a business and create jobs in our communities.
Our President gets it. Our Vice President gets it. The SBA gets it. And so does everyone in this Administration.
As we celebrate Minority Enterprise Development Week, let’s renew our commitment – and pass the American Jobs Act – in order to help all of America’s small businesses create jobs and strengthen our economy.
About the Author
Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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