Since the days of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, presidents have been judged on what they accomplished within their first 100 days in office.
With the COVID-19 pandemic elevating the importance of new and small businesses, policymakers continued to focus on actions meant to support struggling entrepreneurs during the first 100 days of the Biden Administration.
Since January 20, federal policymakers have:
- Revised the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to ensure that funding goes to businesses that need it most — and those who have been historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship;
- Increased the Economic Injury Disaster Loan amount from $150,000 to $500,000;
- Revived the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which provides state funding that is partially designated for businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minority-owned businesses; tribal governments; and businesses, including independent contractors and sole proprietors, with fewer than 10 employees;
- Established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help restaurants that were badly hurt in the pandemic; and
- Created the Community Navigator Pilot Program to support nonprofits and local governments that provide free technical assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
These actions largely aim to get money into the hands of business owners who have experienced significant disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic as stay-at-home orders and the spread of the coronavirus kept customers away.
Helping businesses keep their doors open is a priority, but action cannot end there. Under better conditions, America can shift from emergency aid aimed at stabilizing existing businesses to a bolder strategy that transforms our flawed and unequal economy into a better, more inclusive one, centered on entrepreneurship’s power to drive growth, innovation, and job creation.
This is what America’s New Business Plan is about: In order to expand access to funding so that all entrepreneurs — regardless of who they are or where they live — can acquire the right kind of capital needed for their businesses, ANBP outlines a series of actions that includes:
- Form a public-private task force to evaluate the history and current impact of redlining and to recommend actions, including relevant changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, that will counter decades of disinvestment and discrimination;
- Develop community deposit programs or expand existing community deposit programs to facilitate greater lending to new and small businesses;
- Create “evergreen” community investment funds that support new businesses as they move through the early stages of proof-of-concept and product development;
- Apply relevant consumer truth-in-lending rules to new and small business borrowers so there is greater transparency in lending terms, rates, and other conditions; and
- Create tax incentives for investors purchasing securities offered by new businesses through qualifying crowdfunding channels.
These and other efforts outlined in ANBP will ensure that capital flows to all entrepreneurs and that the economy works for everyone — now and in the future.