Trump gives Main Street new hope
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Investors, small businesses and consumers have greeted the new Trump administration with renewed optimism for economic growth, and with good reason. After the recent election the stock market posted record highs, small business optimism soared, and consumer sentiment remained high. Tax and regulatory reform and infrastructure renewal are on the table, meaning new and better paying jobs are on the horizon.

President Trump’s focus on domestic investment and jobs has encouraged both business owners and job seekers. The renewed hope is palpable.

The expectation of sweeping policy change has dominated the conversation with open questions about how best to stimulate the flow of capital to domestic small business. Small businesses need to access the capital needed to expand and the expertise in helping them to effectively manage the growth. The federal Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is remarkably successful at facilitating both.

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new report by the nonpartisan research division of the Library of Congress found that small businesses funded by SBICs have created almost 3 million domestic jobs between 1995 through 2014. Additionally, the program supported more than 9.5 million jobs during this same time, which included two severe recessions. Many of these jobs are created in low income areas and many are in manufacturing. SBICs regularly invest in parts of the country regularly overlooked or flown over by large financial entities.

 

The SBIC program’s success is founded on market-based principles and attracts top-tier small business investors who are responsible for identifying the small businesses with the potential to grow. They provide not only capital, but also the experience and guidance many business owners need to achieve growth and success. They are active partners who look for opportunities to improve and innovate, and they invest for the long-term. One of the beauties of small business investment is that strong small businesses continue to benefit their communities and employees long after the SBIC investment has been returned.

The patient capital made available by small business investment companies allows business owners to expand facilities, invest in new technologies and innovations, purchase equipment, and grow their American workforce. This is capital that is not available from traditional sources. Once entrepreneurs receive SBIC investment, they can often access conventional bank lending that previously was completely out of reach.

It is a powerful program for America’s small businesses that liberates their growth potential. But SBICs also benefit the employees. Since SBICs invest exclusively in domestic small businesses and their capital cannot be used for foreign outsourcing, the money and job creation stays here.

As Trump’s choice to head the U.S. Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon will be responsible for regulating and overseeing the continued success of this multibillion-dollar small business investment portfolio. She knows firsthand both how hard it is to grow a small business and how rewarding it can be.

Under her leadership as chief executive officer, World Wrestling Entertainment grew into a global household name, from a modest 13-person operation into a publicly traded global enterprise with 800 employees in offices worldwide. Her direct experience in global branding and market entry and business transformation is impressive.

She understands firsthand the challenges business face in accessing capital and navigating complex regulatory environments. This, combined with her 35 years in executive leadership, makes her exceptionally well prepared to understand both small business investors and small business owners.

McMahon’s success story is amazing, but not unique. With tax reform, regulatory reform, and successful programs like the SBIC program, we can increase access to capital for small businesses and contribute to thousands upon thousands of American success stories like that of McMahon. She has much to contribute to the role, and small business investors look forward to her.

Brett Palmer is president of the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), is the premier organization of lower middle market funds and investors, forming the growth engine for the American economy.


The views of contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.