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Supporting Small Businesses: The Engines of Our Economy

Christopher Chan of the U.S. Small Business Administration discusses SBA's work with the small business community and new programs that will help AAPI-owned small businesses.

We at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) know that small businesses are the engines of our economy.  Over 50% of Americans own or work for a small business, and it is important to support these business owners and entrepreneurs across our country.  Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) small businesses, for instance, strengthen the U.S. economy by generating over $300 billion in revenue and creating 2 million jobs for Americans of all backgrounds, according to the U.S. Census.  That’s why President Obama’s call for small business tax cuts in the American Jobs Act is so beneficial to our community and all small businesses in our country.

At the SBA, we are committed to working with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to ensure that AAPI small business owners know what we offer.  At the most recent White House Initiative Interagency Working Group meeting, SBA was recognized for its work on community engagement.  We are honored for the recognition from the Initiative, and we know that there is a great deal more to do in order to ensure that small business owners across the country have the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed. 

Congress is working to pass pieces of the American Jobs Act, but the President knows that America’s small businesses can’t wait for help.  He is calling upon federal agencies to do everything they can, absent new legislation, to continue supporting and bolstering our economy.

That is why SBA recently retooled our CAPLines program to make sure that businesses can secure important financing. Small businesses can now borrow against accounts receivable, inventory, contracts, and purchase orders in order to secure an SBA revolving line of credit from one of our certified lenders. 

In addition, we want to ensure small businesses are paid promptly for their completed work in government contracting. The President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued a memo on “QuickPay,” setting a goal of paying small business government contractors within 15 days of completed work – down from 30 days.  This effort means nearly $100 billion a year will get into the hands of small business much sooner – a huge win for small business contractors trying to keep a strong cash flow.

At the core of SBA’s mission is raising awareness of various programs and initiatives, like CAPLines or QuickPay, that support small businesses.  That’s why we are working tirelessly to support all small business owners, including the AAPI small business owners, who are so important to the economic prosperity of this country.

Christopher Chan is the Special Advisor for Public Engagement at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).