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Coalition Roundup: September 17, 2021

Last year, we celebrated National Small Business Week by emphasizing that “the unifying nature of entrepreneurship must extend beyond platitudes and inspire bipartisan action from policymakers at all levels of government.”

One year later, we’ve seen policymakers take key steps on everything from funding to regulations. But the need to support new and small businesses is greater than ever. Quoted in Forbes, the Economic Innovation Group recently noted that “the Delta variant’s surge has erased all progress on small business recovery expectations made during the spring and early summer.”

As COVID-19 continues to ravage communities and economies, policymakers must continue to demonstrate their support of new and small businesses with action.

Small Business Outlook
SCORE recently shared insights from several surveys and studies that together paint a picture of the state of new and small businesses. The 8th Global State of Small Business Report from Facebook shows that small businesses continue to experience challenges, with 60% experiencing difficulties paying business-related expenses. More than a third have fewer employees than they did pre-pandemic, too. Further, research from Kabbage shows that hiring is a concern, with “28% saying it is difficult or very difficult to hire new employees.”

But SCORE’s roundup also highlights growing interesting in entrepreneurship. A study from MBO Partners signals that “the pandemic reinforced a growing view that traditional jobs are less secure. And 68% of full-time independents believe working independently is more secure than having a traditional job.”

Kauffmann Foundation: Rebuilding Better Grantees
The Kauffman Foundation unveiled a slate of grantees whose initiatives will help “engage entrepreneurs in advocacy and educate policymakers of the challenges entrepreneurs face in America.” The 21 projects align with one of three strategies: building support for America’s New Business Plan, addressing challenges faced by entrepreneurs of color, and advocating for entrepreneurs in Kansas and Missouri. The full list is available on the Kauffman Foundation website, with projects dedicated to everything from combating gentrification to education about procurement disparities.

Why Making Entrepreneurship a Community Priority Is Key to America’s Economic Recovery
In a recent piece for Inc, Right to Start’s Victor Hwang stressed the need for economic development to look beyond big businesses and instead focus on local communities. Emphasizing the potential of homegrown businesses to power the recovery, he writes that “America’s communities must stop being tempted by the ‘allure of big’ and instead focus on what they already have in their ecosystems. Connect diverse talent. Equalize access to essential resources like capital and knowledge. Tear down barriers. Foster collaboration across silos. And make better policies at federal, state, and local levels.”

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