Small business owners are the backbone of the U.S., creating jobs and generating wealth for their communities. But many entrepreneurs feel that they are ignored by their government, left to flounder as big corporations take all the credit for American prosperity.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Administrator Dilawar Syed and Southeast Regional Administrator Allen Thomas join The SBA Update to discuss how government policy is driving small business growth and diversity.
Syed is a successful entrepreneur and public official who oversaw various commerce-focused initiatives during the Bush, Obama, and Biden Administrations. He has played a crucial role in bridging the gap between the small business community and lawmakers, giving entrepreneurs a voice in politics and helping Congress make informed policy decisions. Syed and Thomas discuss what the federal government is doing to support small businesses in 2024 and beyond.
1. Small business creation is at an all-time high, with more and more entrepreneurs seeking to launch their own startups than ever before. Both the SBA and the Biden Administration have played a key role in fueling this economic boom.
2. Capital is a necessity for fledgling entrepreneurs. To help the growing number of new businesses access critical funding, the SBA removed a moratorium on small business lending, allowing the number of loan providers to increase, and streamlined lending guidelines to make the loan application process easier and faster.
3. The SBA not only oversaw a record-breaking number of business applications in 2023 but also saw diversity among entrepreneurs improve. Syed attributes this to bipartisan legislation that has led the government to invest in American communities at a rate not seen in decades.
4. Syed recently attended the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders Economic Summit. The event is part of a series of programs dedicated to discussing and solving the difficulties facing under-served communities. Syed notes such meetings are especially important for minority entrepreneurs, who often struggle to start or grow their businesses due to systemic inequality.
5. The SBA is helping small business owners from diverse backgrounds achieve success. Syed notes that more women are becoming entrepreneurs than ever before. The Biden Administration is also looking to distribute 15% of all government contracts to socially disadvantaged businesses in 2024.
6. Many entrepreneurs feel too intimidated by bureaucracy to pursue government contracts. However, Syed notes that the SBA is there to support small business owners and can help guide them through the process.
"All of this is happening in an environment where we are investing in the country at a level that we haven't done in decades." — Dilawar Syed, SBA Deputy Administrator