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Category: Small Business Policy

Bill Would Expand Aid for Manufacturers

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 26

Back in December I wrote a story about a Michigan program to help manufacturers trying to diversify into new industries get the loans they need to do that. The $13.2…

Bankers Urged to Get to Know Borrowers

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 08

Regulators want the nation’s banks to get to know their small business customers better. In a statement Friday, federal and state regulators said banks shouldn’t curtail credit based on negative…

Up to $1 Billion from TARP to Go to CDFIs

Posted by: Nick Leiber on February 03

Earlier today Treasury officials announced a new initiative that will use up to $1 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to provide lower-cost capital to banks, credit unions, and…

Jobs Credit Talk May Delay Hiring

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 29

If the government plans to give a tax credit for new hires to small businesses, as President Obama indicated Wednesday in his State of the Union address, Congress and the…

About that $30 Billion…

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 28

One more note on Obama’s plan to direct $30 billion in funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to community banks for small business lending. Making such a program work…

What Obama Said About Small Business

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 28

A short but prominent section of President Obama’s State of the Union focused on helping small businesses to create jobs. Here’s a look at what he said and what it…

Supporting Diaspora Entrepreneurs

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 12

Solar powered ovens could help prevent deforestation in countries like Uganda, where people in poor villages cut down trees for cooking fuel. Manufacturing them in Uganda could create jobs and…

Obama Pushes Small Business Aid for Job Recovery

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 08

The president pledged to extend loan aid and tax breaks to small businesses and to create a new tax credit for hiring new workers in a speech at the Brookings…

Introducing: The Small Business Policy Ticker

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 17

We’re testing an idea we hope will help you follow the policy news that matters to small business owners. We call it the Small Business Policy Ticker. The feed below…

Do Small Businesses Need Consumer Financial Protections?

Posted by: John Tozzi on October 16

In the aftermath of the crisis spawned by subprime mortgages, Congress is trying to create an agency to police consumer financial products. The latest reports sound like lawmakers are pulling…

Government Pushes Exports for Small Business

Posted by: Amy Barrett on October 01

Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States wants to get small business to think globally. Ex-Im, along with the Small Business Administration, Commerce Department…

Weigh in on the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Small Jobs

Posted by: Nick Leiber on August 02

This is a guest post by BusinessWeek contributor Vivek Wadhwa. Outsourcing has become such a toxic issue in the U.S. that even the President has rallied against it. The assumption…

Obama on Balancing Needs of Small Business and Multinationals

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 29

We just published an interview that BW editor Stephen Adler and Washington Bureau Chief Jane Sasseen did with President Obama in the Oval Office earlier this week. Among other things,…

In France: the Government is Pushing Small Business

Posted by: Stacy Perman on July 25

In America we like to say that small business is the engine that drives the economy, but in France, not so much. That conventional axiom however has been turned on…

Health Care Lobbyists…Partisan?

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 08

We’ve been covering the health care reform debate in Washington because small business owners have a huge stake in finding a solution that reduces costs and expands coverage. And following…

The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur

Posted by: Nick Leiber on July 08

This is a guest blog by Emily Schmitt, who joined BusinessWeek’s Small Business team and Investing team in June. When Ken Rapp was 16 years old, his mom died of…

Who Represents Small Business in Health Care Reform?

Posted by: John Tozzi on July 07

There’s a YouTube video making the rounds that takes aim at two progressive groups lobbying for health care reform, the Small Business Majority and the Main Street Alliance. The video,…

Credit Card Reform: Are You a Business, Consumer, or Both?

Posted by: John Tozzi on May 01

We got some great comments on our post yesterday about how credit card protections passed in the House won’t help small business cardholders. There’s a bigger theme here worth noting:…

Will Credit Card Reform Abandon Small Business Owners?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 29

Congress is scheduled to vote on the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Thursday, which would protect cardholders from some aggressive practices like two-cycle billing, applying payments in a way that…

More Reaction to Obama’s Small Business Plan

Posted by: Stacy Perman on March 18

Last October when I spoke with Maryann Ferenc the owner of the Tampa, Fla.-based Mise en Place, a restaurant and catering event business about the government bailout, she found the…

Reacting to Obama’s Small Business Stimulus Package

Posted by: Stacy Perman on March 16

Last fall when the government passed what was then a $700 billion economic bailout package, largely intended to prop up failing institutions such as AIG and Citibank, one could hear…

Small Business Economy Report

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 12

The SBA Office of Advocacy released its annual Small Business Economy report today. (The PDF, which weighs in at 413 pages, is here.) Since this report mainly looks at data…

Meg Whitman: Small Business Governor?

Posted by: Stacy Perman on February 09

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, considered a champion of small business has announced her intention to run for Governor of California. While national co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign she…

Small business, big regulation, big problems?

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 05

I had a talk today with Steve King, researcher and blogger at Small Biz Labs. King got in touch after reading my post on the tension between regulating industry and…

When will regulation fit the size of business?

Posted by: John Tozzi on February 02

Crafters and other makers of children’s products up in arms over the CPSIA are breathing a bit easier this week. Many small business owners have been frantic for weeks because…

Misinformation and the CPSIA

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 15

There’s some talk today about misinformation around the CPSIA after a TV interview that commission spokeswoman Julie Vallese did. (For those just joining us, CPSIA is a new product safety…

Track CPSIA news on the Business Exchange

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 14

For those of you trying to keep pace with all the news about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, I just wanted to plug the new topic page we built…

Some answers (sort of) on the CPSIA

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 14

One of the biggest problems in the firestorm over the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has been a lack of clarity from regulators. (Again, this is the new law intended…

Google trends on CPSIA: they care in Hong Kong too

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 13

I love to check Google Trends to gauge the interest in a moving news story. So I looked at CPSIA search terms, and the screen grab below gives you a…

Regulator warned that lead toy ban was not practical

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 13

I found this October 2007 article by the Times’ Stephen Labaton while researching the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (That’s the law that small producers of children’s goods say threatens…

Using social tools to fight the CPSIA

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 12

Thanks to those of you I’ve heard from in response to Friday’s post on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. (This is the law that people who make hand made…

Small businesses say flaws in new product safety law will force them to shut

Posted by: John Tozzi on January 09

I just started looking into a story on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, after a reader on Twitter alerted me to it a few days ago. The law is…

What the auto bailout means to small business

Posted by: John Tozzi on December 12

The New York Times today looks at how suppliers are being affected by the trouble in Detroit. If GM or Chrysler files Chapter 11 — a growing possibility since the…

Senator Olympia Snowe on Change at the SBA

Posted by: Jeremy Quittner on December 02

The Small Business Administration, with its loan programs, coaching, and educational curriculum is vital to the nation’s small businesses. That’s particularly true now, with the U.S. economy in full…

The Big Three and the Small 50,000

Posted by: John Tozzi on November 24

As I was reading about the auto industry bailout on the way into work this morning, a question occurred to me: How many small businesses depend on the US auto…

Is TARP Really a TRAP?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on November 19

The Treasury’s capital purchase program, the system for injecting capital into the nation’s banks, may look like a give away on the surface. But look a bit closer and there’s…

Ralph Nader: Why Small Business Owners Are the True Capitalists

Posted by: Stacy Perman on October 28

For the past four decades, consumer advocate and lawyer Ralph Nader has been instrumental in uncovering government and corporate waste and abuse and has organized millions of citizens to…

Beware of Unintended Consequences

Posted by: Amy Barrett on October 22

Entrepreneurs have hardly been overwhelmed by government efforts to help them weather the current economic storm. So some may have cheered on Oct. 20 when the Small Business Administration asked…

McCain and Obama on Taxes for Small Business Owners

Posted by: Nick Leiber on October 16

Whose tax policies are better for small business owners? That’s a question that continued to be raised in last night’s final presidential debate, with both candidates using the example of…

Your chance to cut red tape

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 23

Want to re-write the federal regulations that affect your business? Then take a look at the SBA’s Regulatory Review and Reform Initiative. The idea is that you can tell the…

Training supports entrepreneurship in underserved communities

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 12

Today we bring you excerpts of my conversation about race and entrepreneurship with Robert Fairlie, one of the leading experts on the subject. Fairlie answered my questions about his new…

Suggest questions on race and entrepreneurship

Posted by: John Tozzi on September 04

Next week I’m scheduled to interview Robert Fairlie, a UC Santa Cruz economics professor and co-author with Alicia Robb of a new book called Race and Entrepreneurial Success. Fairlie’s book,…

The Dearth of Small Business Data

Posted by: John Tozzi on August 28

It’s impossible to find good, current, reliable data on small businesses. The Economic Census, conducted every five years, takes years to crunch the numbers. Data from the 2007 survey won’t…

The Lost Season

Posted by: Amy Barrett on August 27

Summer’s winding down-but it’s been a tough one for many seasonal business owners. Due to political games on Capitol Hill, Congress failed to pass a measure that would have lifted…

No Help From Uncle Sam

Posted by: Amy Barrett on July 23

Government regulators wasted no time in hatching a rescue plan for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-long run by well-connected Beltway insiders. And given the key role Fannie and…

The Day After the Big Box Comes to Town

Posted by: Stacy Perman on July 10

After talking to filmmaker Hanson Hosein about the march of Big Box stores in post-Katrina New Orleans, I got to thinking. Obviously, the long-held belief is that when the Wal-Mart’s,…

Still Looking For Independent America

Posted by: Stacy Perman on July 08

In 2005, the husband and wife film making team of Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes chronicled their road trip across 32 states to see how mom and pop shops were…

Does Wal-Mart Really Hurt Small Business?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on June 30

It’s conventional wisdom that when it comes to small companies, Wal-Mart is bad news. The press is full of stories about how Wal-Mart comes to small towns and leaves a…

Health care holding entrepreneurs back?

Posted by: John Tozzi on June 24

If health insurance becomes affordable outside of the employer-based system, would it open the floodgates for would-be entrepreneurs who are only holding on to corporate jobs to keep their coverage?


What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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