As Congress returns to session this week for the first time since the midterm elections and newly elected Members participate in orientation, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices is announcing a new grassroots advocacy campaign to encourage lawmakers to reauthorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2023 for the first time in more than two decades – a move that would modernize the agency and ensure it is best-equipped to meet the needs of today’s small business owners.
The new effort formally kicked off today with the delivery of a letter signed by more than 3,000 small business owners from all 50 states, including more than 100 business owners from Utah, calling on Members of Congress to work together on legislation reauthorizing the SBA. The program launched a bipartisan connected television (CTV) ad which includes both Republican and Democratic Senators calling for a modernized SBA. In the coming months, the new campaign will utilize public events, paid advertisements, and other measures to ensure the voices of small business owners are heard in the halls of Congress.
“Congress helped small businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with a possible recession looming, it’s more important than ever that policymakers ensure the Small Business Administration is best equipped to meet the needs of today’s small business owners,” said Jill Bommarito, Founder and CEO of Ethel’s Baking Company in Shelby Township, Michigan. “This is an issue that touches every community in every state across our country. It’s critical that we get the job done.”
The last time Congress reauthorized the SBA, in December 2000:
Tom Brady was a backup quarterback to Drew Bledsoe
Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas led the holiday box office, and
68% of small businesses in operation today did not exist.
While Congress has enacted important policies since then to benefit small businesses, it has not taken the step of actually reauthorizing the SBA, which will allow lawmakers and the agency to take a step back and ask searching questions about its mission and structure. It will offer a chance to double-down on the SBA’s strengths and ensure that it can adapt to a shifting landscape and continue serving thousands of small businesses each year.
With President Joe Biden in the White House, Republicans likely controlling the House, and Democrats holding the majority in the Senate, reauthorizing the SBA might be one of the only things that members of both parties will be able to work together on in order to deliver results for the American people.
“Few things are as important as ensuring that small business owners have the tools and resources they need to get ahead,” added Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices National Director Joe Wall. “That’s why we are fully committed to ensuring that Congress reauthorizes the SBA next year for the first time in 22 years so that federal government programs and services are tailored to better meet the needs of small business owners today.”
The full text of the letter delivered to Capitol Hill today is embedded below. A PDF copy with a list of signers is available for download here.
Dear Members of Congress,
America’s small business owners deserve a modern Small Business Administration (SBA). Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ nearly half of the nation’s workforce, but Congress hasn’t reauthorized the SBA – providing the critical review and creation of resources necessary to modernize – in more than 20 years.
The SBA was on the frontlines of the federal government’s pandemic response, and they helped millions of small businesses remain open and retain workers. But the pandemic also exposed significant gaps, inefficiencies, and areas where SBA reform is needed to more effectively support our nation’s job creators and innovators. The potential is huge – and would benefit communities across the country in the ongoing economic recovery.
We, the 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community, believe small businesses need a federal agency built for today’s economy. An agency that can equip us with the tools and resources to succeed both now and in the future. By reforming and reauthorizing the SBA, Congress can:
Modernize technical assistance and entrepreneurial development programs to reflect today’s technology
Ensure that access to capital programs meet the various financing needs of small businesses to continue to grow and attract investment
Expand federal procurement opportunities for more small businesses to do business with the government
Build a more responsive customer support center to ensure that questions and inquiries do not go unanswered, and
Develop a 21st century communications and marketing strategy to bring more awareness to the resources available for small businesses.
Support small businesses. Reauthorize the Small Business Administration.