Access to Capital

Capital is the lifeblood of any businesses, but especially small businesses.  Without adequate financing, through microloans, commercial lending, or investment capital, most entrepreneurs cannot start new businesses or grow their existing companies.  Because access to capital is so critical for small business success, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship works to ensure that entrepreneurs are able to secure the financing they need.

Contracting and Procurement

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has long promoted small business participation in the federal contracting arena.  Small businesses are our nation’s most dynamic job generators and provide the benefits of competition, including lower prices, better services and products, to the federal government, the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world.  In fact, the U.S. government procures around $500 billion annually in products and services.

Disaster Assistance

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program.  Specifically, the SBA provides financial assistance through this program to help homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations, and businesses of all sizes recover from disasters.  In 2005 and 2006, the SBA faced unprecedented demands for its disaster loan assistance services in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.  The inefficiencies of the Disaster Loan Program received national attention and led to Congressional action by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial Development Programs

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) entrepreneurial development programs.  Congress has authorized the SBA to carry out a network of programs to provide small businesses with quality training, counseling and access to resources.  The SBA delivers this critical technical assistance to small businesses via SBA resource partners located throughout the country.

Health Care

Small business owners in all fifty states have cited health insurance costs as their number one concern.  Health insurance premiums have increased by 89 percent this decade, and only 49 percent of our nation’s smallest businesses are now able to offer health insurance as a workplace benefit.  Further compounding the crisis, small group insurance markets across the country have no real competition among insurers.  No competition means higher costs.  And higher costs mean no health insurance.

Innovation, Energy, and Manufacturing

In this challenging economic climate, small businesses conducting innovative research are critical not only to our economic recovery but also to our nation’s ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.  Additionally, through efforts to increase energy efficiency, small businesses can contribute to America’s energy security, help to combat global warming, and add to their bottom line all at the same time.

Regulatory Reform

The Committee has a well-established record of working to reduce the burden that Federal regulations bear on small businesses.  Over the past twenty years, the number and complexity of Federal regulations have multiplied at an alarming rate. These regulations impose a much more significant impact on small businesses than larger businesses.

Small Business Administration Budget and Operation

The current financial crisis has disproportionally affected small firms and their employees, and job loss figures show that more than 80 percent of job losses since November were from small businesses. With appropriate and reasonable funding, the SBA can more effectively help our country reduce job losses, bankruptcies and business closures.

Small Business Trade and Exporting

It is crucial that small businesses get the promised benefits of our international trade relationships and are able to compete in the world economy.  While globalization has created opportunities for small businesses to sell their goods and services in new markets, not enough small businesses are taking advantage of these international opportunities. 

Tax and Finance Policy

Despite the fact that small businesses are the real job-creators for our Nation’s economy, the current tax system is placing an entirely unreasonable burden on them when trying to satisfy their tax obligations.  The current tax code imposes a large, and expensive, burden on all taxpayers in terms of satisfying their reporting and record-keeping obligations.

Veterans and Reservist Employees

The men and women who serve our nation in the military deserve more than just our respect – they deserve our assistance.  With more than 3.3 million veteran-owned small businesses in America, veterans play a critical role in strengthening and expanding our economy.   It is imperative that the Committee continues to find innovative ways to further help our nation’s heroes.

Women and Minority Entrepreneurship

For the past two decades, women-owned businesses have been the fastest growing segment in the U.S. economy, growing at twice the rate of all other businesses with 10.1 million women-owned businesses employing 13 million Americans and generating $1.9 trillion in annual revenues in 2008 alone.  Additionally, there are now over four million minority-owned businesses across the country, accounting for over $591 billion in annual revenues.