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Source : Flickr
September 14, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
“The American entrepreneurial spirit is a defining quality of our Nation which time and again has lifted us to new heights and carried us through our greatest challenges,” President Joe Biden remarked in a September 10 press release. “NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 12 to September 18 as National Small Business Week,” the president wrote.
That same day, the Small Business Administration announced keynote speakers for its virtual summit including billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and celebrity chef Jose Andres, neither of whom operate small businesses. Participants in the virtual summit will also include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Tuscan, Arizona Mayor Regina Romero, and Oisin Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of Angi’s List.
Not included in the announced lineup: any small business owners.
Doubling-down on featuring ultra-rich voices at a conference on small business, the SBA put out another press release on Monday announcing that Jennifer Lopez would be sitting with SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman for a fireside chat during the summit.
“I’m excited that Jennifer Lopez is joining us to headline National Small Business Week to discuss her journey as a successful entrepreneur and share her thoughts about how we can help small businesses continue to power our nation’s economy,” Guzman said.
This is somewhat of a slap in the face to the small business community, which has seen more than 1,000 small businesses close per day during the coronavirus pandemic. And things aren’t really getting better fast enough.
According to Forbes, at the beginning of this month, “one-quarter of small businesses said their revenues declined in the prior week” according to data from the Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey. Nearly 40 percent of small businesses think that it will take more than six months to return to normal levels of operation, a figure that has increased since June by eight percentage points. As the Economic Innovation Group states “the Delta variant’s surge has erased all progress on small business recovery expectations made during the spring and early summer.”
Forbes additionally reports that “the Small Business Economic Trends report from the National Federation of Independent Business in August found net negative readings for sales expectations.”
Instead of enlisting celebrities to lecture us on the importance of small business, the SBA should be, well, working to help small businesses.
Photo via Flickr.