The SBA has been especially handicapped under Trump, according to John Arensmeyer, who heads the Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that has a network of more than 58,000 small-business owners, most of whom have fewer than 100 employees.
Small Business News
A recent poll shows that 90 percent of small businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. And more than 50 percent of them say they are about to close or are on the verge of closing. The poll was conducted by a San Francisco-based advocacy group called Small Business Majority, and its CEO John Arensmeyer has been a proponent of community grants that exist outside of the formal banking system that has controlled government aid up to this point.
Earlier this week, a national group called the Small Business Majority released criticism on the equity of the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) response to the coronavirus economic impact.
“We already have a tax system where the loopholes, if you will, benefit the bigger businesses,” John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of the advocacy group Small Business Majority, said.
The legislation is modeled on Israel’s “Yozma” program of the late-1990s, which successfully incentivized U.S. venture capital firms to invest in promising Israeli startups, and builds on other successful federal-state partnerships to support small businesses, such as the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).
This week’s guests on the War Room will be John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group for business owners; and Gene Marks, a small business advocate who is founder of the Marks Group, a consulting firm that helps businesses with their technology issues. Both John and Gene have devoted countless hours to helping businesses navigate the crisis. We’ll talk rescue loans, technology, reopening, and we’ll take your questions.
Democratic state Sen. Scott Bennett of Champaign said, “These loans can help businesses stay solvent today, when they need the help.”
“Additionally, we have worked with business advocates such as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Majority, and the Small Business Advocacy Center to ensure their members are aware of our bridge loan program.”
John Arensmeyer, CEO of the advocacy group Small Business Majority, questions whether the loans have in fact gone to companies that need them most. For example, “The entire hospitality industry got 9% of the money and 50% of the layoffs,” Arensmeyer said.
In addition to familiarizing themselves with resources available from national groups such as the James Beard Foundation, National Restaurant Association, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority, owners should speak with state and city restaurant groups such as the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association to get a sense of what reopening might look like, says Miller: “Everybody should be looking at what policies you can fight for and what dollars you can help mobilize.”
According to Awesta Sarkash, the government affairs manager at advocacy group Small Business Majority, more than 80 percent of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees, and the average annual revenue of those with less than 10 employees is about $1 million or less.