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Coalition Roundup: May 12, 2021

New and small businesses have the potential to lead the nation’s recovery — and to rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy in the long term. But to reach their potential, entrepreneurs (and prospective entrepreneurs) need access to opportunity and freedom from onerous red tape.

Following leadership from members of the Start Us Up coalition, the state of Arkansas and the federal government took steps to enhance access to opportunity, aligned with recommendations from America’s New Business Plan to rein in occupational licensing and unleash the job-creating power of immigrant entrepreneurs.

Arkansas Untangles Hair Stylists from Licensing Red Tape
In late April, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law occupational licensing reform specifically aimed at untangling the beauty industry from red tape. “Arkansas has taken an important step to removing unnecessary barriers to work,” said Jessica Gandy of the Institute for Justice, which worked with policymakers in the state. “This reform will create more opportunities for entrepreneurs in the beauty industry and all Arkansans.”

However, the Institute for Justice stressed the need for continued licensing reform, noting that Arkansas ranks as the third “most broadly and onerously licensed state” in the country, per a report from the Institute.

Implementation of International Entrepreneur Rule by Biden Administration will Spur Job Creation and Innovation
This week, the Biden Administration announced it would launch the International Entrepreneur Rule, a program similar to a startup visa designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs. “By implementing the International Entrepreneur Rule, the Biden Administration is unlocking an incredible job creation tool that will help the United States remain the global leader in innovation,” said Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, a strong advocate for the program.

Earlier in 2021, the Center for American Entrepreneurship, Economic Innovation Group, Engine, the Kauffman Foundation, the Niskanen Center, and SSTI joined NVCA in drafting a letter of support for the IER.

The Megaphone of Main Street: Unsung Entrepreneurs – Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Immigrants are 40% more likely to start a business than native-born Americans and are also more likely than non-immigrant business owners to apply for government support — and significantly less likely to receive the full amount they requested, according to data published by SCORE, a national network of volunteer business mentors. Foreign-born business owners are rejected up to 84% more often when seeking expanded lines of credit, crowdfunding, new investors, support from online lenders, and veteran loans, the study found.

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