Nov 27 2023
Small Business Saturday is an important holiday tradition for local businesses and neighborhood retailers. This promotion encourages folks to invest in entrepreneurs in their communities by shopping at t homegrown stores during the Christmas season. This is an important step to support small businesses at a time when increasing challenges make it difficult to thrive.
Small businesses are the backbone of America, and capital is the lifeblood of these businesses. Capital is essential when launching operations from the ground up. Without this critical funding, many businesses quickly buckle and break down.
While it’s important lenders and investors find creative ways to get more capital to small businesses, it’s equally important the federal government removes barriers making it difficult for small businesses to access that capital.
This is why Arkansas Congressman French Hill and I introduced the Small Lender Act. True to its name, this legislation addresses concerns about a rule proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which, instead of focusing on creditworthiness, would require lenders to solicit social factors from small business borrowers and divulge it to federal bureaucrats in Washington. While discrimination of any form is wrong, this rule would prioritize social factors over creditworthiness in small business lending, place additional red tape on lenders and make it harder for small businesses to access capital.
The proposal would change the traditional process of small business lending, creating a system of winners and losers and restricting capital to those who need it the most. The Small Lender Act would remove this red tape for certain lenders and small business borrowers, making it easier for capital to get to the businesses that depend on it the most.
As I write about the importance of small business capital, entrepreneurship and hard work, I am reminded of my own humble beginnings. My brother and I were inspired to start an eye clinic in Northwest Arkansas, but lacked the necessary funding.
A local banker took a chance on us and granted us access to capital. We became a leading eye-care provider, benefiting not only our clinic but also our community. I take great pride in having helped those in need, and that was made possible because we were able to access that initial capital.
My story is like that of many other entrepreneurs, and I recognize the risks and challenges small business owners face. That’s why I’m proud to champion policies that make it easier, for small businesses to access these lending tools.
Arkansas is home to more than 258,000 small businesses employing more than 500,000 people. Help promote growth for these job creators and economic development in our communities by shopping local on Small Business Saturday, throughout the holiday season and all year long.
Each of those small businesses has a compelling story of resilience, growth, and prosperity—a story that echoes through generations, reminding us that the strength of a nation lies in the success of its small businesses.