Policy Recommendations: Access to Capital & Opportunity

Small Business Majority

Improve small business capital programs

  • Update the Small Business Act and modernize core capital programs to the 21st century by  
    • Reducing barriers to federal loan programs by implementing early-stage forgiveness and/or low- or no-early interest loan features and payout schedules.
    • Ensuring SBA programs including 7(a)/504/and Community Advantage lenders are meeting the needs of today’s entrepreneurs, particularly the smallest businesses in under-resourced communities.
    • Increasing the cap on Small Business Investment Companies to $250 million to prioritize capital access for new entrepreneurs.
    • Increasing SBA lending guarantees through the maximum guaranteed annual loan amount and loan guarantee percentages.
    • Reforming lending requirements for justice-impacted individuals and implement a pilot program to counsel, train, and provide guidance to returning citizens seeking entrepreneurship opportunities.

Foster expanded capital access for minority-owned businesses, microbusinesses and those in rural communities

  • Ensure that SBA and other federal guaranteed loans are focused on capital access for the smallest businesses and those in under-resourced communities. 
  • Increase program funding for the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund at the Department of Treasury and ensure that resources flow to underserved entrepreneurs. 
  • Encourage improved agency outreach, education and marketing of programs in under-resourced communities. 

Promote transparency and other responsible small business lending practices

  • Pass the Small Business Lending Disclosure and Broker Regulation Act, which would extend federal Truth in Lending Act disclosure requirements to small business financing products. 
  • Prohibit "confessions of judgment" clauses, as proposed in the Small Business Lending Fairness Act, in small business lending agreements whereby borrowers agree in advance to waive their right to contest any dispute with a lender, often costing them their entire savings.  
  • Ensure the U.S. Department of the Treasury monitors and makes public the use of State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) dollars to ensure they flow to under-resourced communities and entrepreneurs.  
  • Guarantee the implementation of data collection and transparency in small business lending through the implementation of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations, and CDFI lending to ensure an equitable disbursement of capital. 
  • Create federal incentives for the implementation of the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights across all small business lenders. 

Ensure small businesses have access to procurement opportunities

  • Ensure collaboration among all relevant agencies to maximize the participation of small businesses in contracting opportunities provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act and the CHIPS & Science Act.  
  • Advocate for improvements to federally sponsored small business set-aside programs and training opportunities to reduce complexity around the procurement marketplace.  
  • Improve small business outreach and education at federal agencies regarding federal contracting opportunities and financing options.    

Remove barriers to entrepreneurship for all

  • Revisit business registration and licensing requirements to ensure they are not overburdensome and impede access to entrepreneurship, while protecting consumers’ safety and health.
  • Enact measures that would reform occupational licensing for justice-impacted individuals seeking to start a business.  
  • Improve affordable, high-speed broadband access for underserved entrepreneurs, especially those in rural communities. 

Expand access to entrepreneurial development resources

  • Fully fund the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at $110 million per year as authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 
  • Provide more funding and manpower for federal resource partners that offer vital education and outreach to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs such as Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the MBDA. 
  • Increase the utilization of public-private partnerships and expand successful outreach models such as the Community Navigator Pilot Program to ensure that hard to reach communities can rely on a network of trusted providers.  
  • Provide funding for marketing and outreach across federal agencies that offer services for small and disadvantaged businesses.