By: Ken Chase.
In a July 20 op-ed on the CNBC website, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon argues that Congress needs to reform the Small Business Administration to ensure that it can help America’s small businesses meet a host of new challenges. Solomon’s call for a reauthorization of the SBA was made in the same week that Goldman Sachs hosted its 2022 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, D.C., an event that the firm called the “largest gathering of small business owners in the U.S.”
Solomon’s op-ed cites an array of challenges for today’s small businesses, including rising and lingering inflation, major disruptions to the supply chain, labor shortages, and more. While he acknowledges that Congress provided some relief to business owners during the pandemic, he also suggests that existing federal programs are ill-prepared to provide the type of help those companies need to survive the current economic climate or worse conditions in the future.
Various lawmakers have proposed a variety of targeted solutions to help business owners meet these challenges, but Solomon’s piece argues that a comprehensive solution is needed. To support that assertion, he cites recent survey results that highlight business owners’ increasing concern about inflation, supply chain issues, and problems in the labor market.
For example, he notes that nearly nine in ten business owners have expressed concerns about those three major issues. In addition, 93 percent of recent graduates from his company’s own business education program have expressed worry that the country will experience an economic downturn over the next twelve months.
Many of Solomon’s proposed solutions have been supported by lawmakers in the past, including improvements to paid leave and tax credits that focus on hiring and retention. Other areas on interest include a renewed focus on improving access to capital, providing greater access to affordable childcare options, and removing barriers that prevent small businesses from competing for government contracts.
According to Solomon, the right SBA reforms could help to address these challenges:
“All of these reforms would go a long way toward making small businesses as resilient and tenacious as ever. Despite the challenges they face, 65% of small business owners remain optimistic about the financial trajectory of their business this year. With a modernized SBA, and other efforts from policymakers, congress can help ensure that small businesses remain pillars of our economy and local communities.”