What’s hurting small businesses today

With the economy slowing improving, there are several issues that are hurting small businesses in a negative way and still causing small-business owners many sleepless nights.

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Recent sequestration has sent government contractors, a significant sector of our economy, into retraction. Large businesses have garnered uncertainty, thus initiating some spending pullback. This affects small businesses in a myriad of ways; large businesses often keep small businesses afloat by purchasing from them, or partnering with them. When large businesses sneeze, small businesses catch colds. Not to mention that the government does business with thousands of small businesses directly. These business are now either in a "holding pattern" or outright experiencing some downsizing directly due to the sequester. There is no upside for small businesses as a result of the sequester. 

Lending is still tight. If you were to survey small business, they would tell you with overwhelming certainty that banks are still reticent to lend them money. Small business could flourish in certain private sectors of the economy if lending would loosen up. In spite of our recent banking crisis, and subsequent bailout, banks are still operating with a selfishness that, while is no doubt good for banking coffers, leaves small business wondering what to do to find start-up capital, finance projects, increase inventory buys or fund payrolls.

This administration's, and to a lesser degree, Congress' inability and/or unwillingness to begin this country's infrastructure rebuilding efforts in a meaningful way is impacting small business negatively as well. Economists who have and will evaluate the benefits to small business and the whole of the country by infrastructure rebuilding will tell you that this effort, though no light task, will do more to drive small business and our economy than any single effort on the drawing board. Small businesses are essentially on the sideline without these efforts going on. Small businesses cannot grow without expansion of opportunity. 

There is lots of innovation in this country, some by the small-business sector. But with austerity, banking pullback, and no real manufacturing or development in our country going on currently, small businesses are left negatively impacted and severely underserving America.



Hollis is CEO/President of Trinity Protection Services.