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Empowering Job Creators in America’s Diverse Small Business Communities

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Empowering Job Creators in America’s Diverse Small Business Communities

By Marie Johns, Former Deputy Administrator
Published: September 30, 2011 Updated: August 4, 2016

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.

The Vice President’s commitment is equally deep. 

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

Former Deputy Administrator

Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 


good article, i get more knowledge, thanks
In general, the hard work we do pays off in the end. My uncle first came here from Korea and he started a business making clothes for retailers who didn't want to outsource. It worked well for 25 years but after that it went south. But he was still able to retire from it.
I fully support the American Jobs Act and know that this will benefit the US by creating jobs.
Every citizen should be able to run and operate their small business regardless of their background. I'm in favour of the administration doing more to ensure that this is a reality across the US.
BenDallas is absolutely right. The future of our economy lies on the online market. And we should track and use that tendency to benefit from it
if you ask me, we should make efforts to increase the number of people connected to online businesses. It's a new field for marketing and it's a highly promising field.
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