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Start Us Up Newsletter: Access to Opportunity

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Last Friday, President Biden signed a new Executive Order aimed at addressing competition in the American economy. At its core, the order shares a fundamental goal with our coalition: bringing balance to a playing field currently skewed toward big corporations.
The order aligns with the opportunity pillar of America’s New Business Plan, featuring directives around occupational licensing and noncompete agreements — two ANBP recommendations that have seen bipartisan momentum at the state level.
We discussed the Executive Order in a recent blog post, highlighting efforts from members of the Start Us Up coalition — like Access to Markets, Economic Innovation Group, Institute for Justice, and Institute for Local Self-Reliance — working specifically in this domain. We’ve also pulled together full recommendations from our opportunity pillar into a print-able guide, so policymakers and advocates can easily navigate and share steps that will help level the playing field.

Though recent momentum is promising, the challenges entrepreneurs face are far-reaching and diverse. As the White House fact sheet notes, there’s a broader issue to address: the rate of new business formation has fallen by almost 50% since the 1970s — as large businesses make it harder for Americans with good ideas to break into markets.
The Executive Order and action around noncompetes and licensing are just some of many actions needed to ensure a competitive and level playing field for all entrepreneurs.


Economic Innovation Group
Economic Innovation Group recently released the State Policymaker’s Guide to Noncompete Reform, offering guidelines for state lawmakers to “curb the negative economic effects of noncompetes (and) unleash their state’s entrepreneurial talent.” It includes concrete principles and cites states leading the way. READ

Access to Markets
Earlier this month, the American Economic Liberties Project launched Access to Markets, a new member of the coalition working to ensure competition isn’t stifled. The group recently released a report that details how “dominant corporations threaten entrepreneurship” and offers solutions for the future. READ

POLICY SPOTLIGHT: Streamlining Registration

For too many entrepreneurs, registering a business is an unnecessarily complex barrier to entry. This reality is perhaps most troubling for business owners of color, an outsized share of whom lack traditional business networks to help them navigate the process. Meanwhile, immigrants often face cultural and language barriers that further complicate starting a business.
Solutions come in the form of greater coordination and an earnest effort to reconcile different sources of information or requirements — the confusing, often-overwhelming leg work that entrepreneurs are often forced to do on their own.
Recently, New York City unveiled a new concierge service that provides “small businesses a sole point of contact to help navigate city regulations,” featuring a step-by-step, Q&A process that results in a single custom list of federal, state, and local permits and regulations. It’s the type of initiative many would benefit from, based on GEN’s index of registration portals, which shows room for improvement nationwide.
Read more at our blog, and visit the ANBP recommendation for concrete steps.

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