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My Government Speaks a Foreign Language

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By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

So much of the frustration Americans feel is due to poor communication and the improper use of vocabulary coming from the White House and Capitol Hill. Legislators must begin to update their use of terms and agencies so that they more accurately align with the expectations and understanding of typical Americans. One clear problem is the use of the term "small business." In some agencies it means less than 500 employees, others less than 1000 employees.

1) How Small is Small? It's proven that micro businesses (mBiz) and start-up businesses are the source of nearly all new jobs. Our future small business owners are not in factories or offices-- they are working at a kitchen table. The ideas below define small businesses as firms with less than 20 employees and micro businesses with less than 5 employees.

2) SBA Confusion. Small businesses, start-ups and micros mistakenly believe that the Small Business Administration represents their interests and provides services designed for them. Less than 1/6 of 1% of all SBA funds went to businesses with less than 20 employees (2010). A more appropriate approach would be to fold into the Commerce Department. The regional Agriculture and SBDC offices could be merged under a new title US Dept of Agriculture & Micro-Enterpise. Provide these regional offices with seed capital for farmers markets, regional "buy local" wholesale shows and access to market technical assistance for graduating to national wholesale trade shows.

What is a small business? If you asked that question to any American on the street.... they would identify a business with less than 20, maybe even less than 10 employees. The term "small business" should NEVER be used in a vague manner, it gives opposing parties a weapon to use against each other. When legislators and pundits use the term we need stop them and ask them to specifically define the size of small business they are discussing... In my experience, I find they are often stunned and embarrassed, and continue to refuse to define what the term "small" represents.

The next election will be the result not of a battle between candidates, but a battle between the power of Wall Street and the voice of Main Street. It's time for us all to figure out what "street" we're on!


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