We Need a New SBA for True Small Businesses
by chuckblakeman, Window Shopper
- Created: August 23, 2010, 4:54 am
The moderators closed our last string on this subject ('Join Me In Demanding a True SBA...) even though it had far and away the most views and the most responses of any thread on this forum. I am requesting that they allow us to have the freedom to have this ongoing and very critical discussion on this public forum.
We Need a New SBA
The SBA is required to meet the needs of every single business under 500 employees, which constitutes 97.7% of all businesses in America. This is a constituency so expansive as to have simply no meaning.
To call 97.7% of all businesses 'small' is no different than calling all people under seven feet tall 'short'. The SBA is not the SBA, it is the MLBA - the Mid to Large Business Administration. The SBA's main contribution over the last 50 years has been to make it easier for mid-sized businesses to become large businesses, at the expense of true small businesses.
Small Business Has No Voice In Washington
Washington is run by a triumvirate of politicians, big businesses, and unions. Nothing exposes this better than following the trail of money for the stimulus and bailouts. Of the $1.4 trillion doled out to date, 99.97% of it has gone directly to a few giant corporations, a few giant banks, a few giant unions, and the coffers of state politicians. We bailed out GM and multiple other giant corporations, the unions attached to them (were given ownership in GM for free), and the banks that would not loan to any of them because they were not good credit risks.
Bailouts to Big Business Hurt Small Business
Of this $1.4 trillion, a ludicrous $255 million was set aside in the ARC loan program for true small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. 3/100th of one percent of the bailouts and stimulus was dedicated to 90%+ of all companies in America (under 20 employees).
Small business doesn't want a bailout, too. We just don't want government bailing out their political donor partners and making it even harder for small business to compete against the combined weight and force of both big business and big government together. This is not a level playing field when the government sides with giant corporations who should go out of business and make room for small businesses to absorb their customers and grow.
Government should be in place to protect all the people, not political cronies. When the government acts on behalf of giant corporations to bail them out of bad business practices and at the same time leaves all businesses under 20 employees swinging in the wind, this is direct and unethical abuse of political power. It is simply immoral.
Washington Uses Small Business for Photo Ops
The only reason these conditions exist is because politicians don't believe small business has an organized voice. It is time to change that. The existing small business advocacies groups all serve narrow agendas and have been completely ineffective in this role, largely because the government keeps buying them off.
Please join me in putting together a unified voice of small business to advocate with government for a seat at the table. It is time that politicians stop using us as a photo op while raising money for themselves.
Small Business Manifesto for the New SBA
1) We need a Cabinet level position for Small Business to ensure true small businesses have a seat at the table, not a photo op at the podium.
2) The SBA needs to be completely dismantled and a new one with new leadership and new management needs to be built in its place. It would be better to dismantle it without a new one, but since there is no likelihood that politicians will dismantle their bias relationships with mid to large sized businesses, small business needs a new voice at the table to do its best to stop the bailouts and ongoing improper relationships with big business, big banks, and unions.
3) We need legislation to officially define small business as 15-20 employees or less. Australia passed the Fair Trade Act in 2009 officially defining 'Small Business' as 'under 15 employees'. We need this clarity.
4) The new SBA should be built specifically for businesses 15-20 employees or less (not 500 or less as is the case now).
5) Requirements for becoming the SBA Administrator of the new SBA should include a) having started and successfully grown at least one business from the ground up and kept it going for a minimum of five years. b) invested themselves heavily in advocating for and working with small, local business owners with less than 20 employees for at least 5 years.
6) The focus of the Cabinet level position and the SBA should be to advocate for small businesses under 20 employees to gain parity with large businesses and unions in the political decision-making climate of Washington.
7) The #1 sector for job creation is businesses with fewer then 10 employees and the #2 sector is businesses with 11-20 employees. The focus of government support in recessions or any other time should not be to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars to a few giant corporations and banks, but to focus on creating free market conditions for the #1 and #2 job creating sectors to add employees.
8) In 2009 the U.S. economy was rated as a greater threat to our national security than terrorism. Small business did not cause this situation and played no part in it. This nation-threatening condition was fully caused by politicians, big banks, and big businesses. The #1 imperative of government is to protect us from all threats foreign and domestic. Any giant bank or giant corporation which has the potential to require future bailouts and thus threaten our national security should immediately be broken up using new laws that would be similar to our monopoly laws. We do not need a government fund for bailing out or dismantling giant businesses that threaten our existence. We need to break them up before they ever get to a size that threatens our nation's security. Not all big business will threaten national security by potentially requiring future bailouts, but any that does should be broken up long before there is any potential need for a bailout. The simple question, 'If this company was to go under, would it require a bailout from the government?', would be the test for breaking up giant corporations. This would lead to less regulations and a much freer market place.
9) Every politician loves to say, 'Small business is the engine of our economy'. Big businesses and national politicians cause recessions, and then they all turn to small business to get us out of them. It is time we join together to demand that small businesses with under 20 employees are no longer a photo op for politicians, but the fourth power in Washington. There are only 17,000 businesses with over 500 employees. There are 28 million with less than 20 employees. We have the largest potential advocacy group in the history of the U.S. Let's put it together and rebuild a great foundation for the most important job-creating sector in our nation.
We will need a non-profit to raise funds, media visibility, and other political advocacy instruments to effect this change. Will you join me?
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