Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the SBA blog:
Last week, I convened a White House Business Council roundtable in Fernley, Nevada. Like many other cities across the country, Fernley experienced economic and population growth in the recent past, only to see it suffer due to the recession and a flood that hit the city in 2008.
White House Business Council roundtables are an opportunity for Council members to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas for how we can continue to grow the economy, put Americans back to work, and win the future. Just as importantly, it’s a chance to provide information to local business leaders about Administration programs and resources available to support their growth and success.
Business owners in Fernley provided me and senior USDA representatives with valuable feedback in a number of areas, including the need for more access to capital and regulation reform.
In the past two and a half years, the Small Business Administration has supported more than $53 billion in SBA loan guarantees to more than 113,000 small businesses. We’re building on this success with our recent announcement of the first twenty community organizations to serve as intermediary lenders in a new SBA loan program. One of these organizations, the Rural Nevada Development Corporation, will serve small businesses in rural Nevada.
We are also working to streamline and reduce regulation. Last week, agencies released their final regulatory reform plans, which included hundreds of initiatives that will reduce waste and save money. As part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, a site has been created to allow the public to submit concrete ideas regarding processes and regulations that could be modified, eliminated, or strengthened to support entrepreneurship.
As I travel across my region in the Western United States and meet with small business owners, what stands out the most is that no matter the location, whether it’s a neighborhood in Oakland or a city in rural Nevada, our small business owners have the creativity, talent, and drive to continue to be the best in the world. We are committed to working alongside them to support their efforts to grow their businesses, create jobs, and in the process, power our economy forward.
Elizabeth Echols is Regional Administrator, Region IX (California, Nevada, Arizona), for the Small Business Administration.