Last Friday President Obama proposed several initiatives to help streamline the ways that America’s businesses can work with the government. His proposal includes two main elements:
- Elevate the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator position, currently held by Karen Mills, to the President’s Cabinet.
- Merge five agencies into a single agency focused on helping the private sector: the SBA, the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, plus the business and trade functions of the Commerce Department.
According to the White House, the plan would save about $3 billion over 10 years and cut about 1,000 to 2,000 jobs, in addition to eliminating the Commerce Department. Along with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the SBA is one of the main funding agencies of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
While the plan has yet to be approved, it is potentially significant for the entrepreneurs and small business owners the Pennsylvania SBDC serve. It ensures that there is a powerful economic agency at the Federal level where small businesses would be a strong focus. There would be more coordination between the SBDC and the partners we work with to provide services to small businesses. It also helps to modernize the government's structure to better maximize services for the American people.
In his weekly address, President Obama noted the importance of the plan to entrepreneurs:
"These changes will make it easier for small business owners to get the loans and support they need to sell their products around the world."
Read more at The New York Times and the Huffington Post.