For Immediate Release
Frank Knapp Jr.
Columbia, SC, March 31, 2021—The nation’s 40-year low in new business startups has a number of contributing factors. The Reform the SBA campaign has recommendations addressing some of the possible issues including access to capital, especially in rural and underserved communities and in particular for entrepreneurs of color and women.
However, even with successfully resolving the capital access issue, the lack of fast and affordable broadband in our rural and underserved communities is a significant impediment to growing the small businesses needed for economic growth. State and local governments simply do not have the resources to solve this problem alone.
Today the President Biden addresses this economic challenge in the proposed American Jobs Plan. The plan calls for investing $100 billion to:
– Build high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100 percent coverage.
– Promote transparency and competition.
– Reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread
“We applaud President Biden’s recognition that access to broadband is as critical as access to capital for digging the nation out of our 40-year low business startup crisis,” said Frank Knapp Jr, coordinator of the Reform the SBA campaign and President/CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “Access to capital and broadband are key components to growing our entrepreneurs and small businesses in our communities most in need of economic development.”
“As the online market increases, so too has the economic gap between businesses that have access to broadband and those that do not,” said Vicki Lee Parker-High, executive director of the North Carolina Business Council. “It is time to broaden the discussion about broadband access to include the economic and social issues relating to digital access. President Biden’s plan is an important step in the right direction.”
The Reform the SBA campaign calls for the Small Business Administration to be the singular federal agency to be responsible for working across the government agencies and with Congress to get the country out of the business startup crisis. Specific recommendations call for the SBA to be given a bigger mission, more authority, and increased resources to address research, access to capital, universal small business needs, federal procurement, and regulations.
The growing list of business organizations supporting the national campaign includes: American Independent Business Alliance, American Sustainable Business Council, Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, Latino Communications Community Development Corporation, North Carolina Business Council, Sumter Black Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
1717 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201