Commentary: Is SBA an Impediment to Entrepreneurship & Growth?

“As the new President was sworn in a year ago in January, 2021, everybody was waiting with bated breath about the types of changes we’d see in federal procurement strategies for small businesses. After all, small businesses are the engines of economic growth, innovation, and job creation and they have taken a big hit during the Pandemic over the last two years.

As a small business owner who also mentors other govcon start-ups, I hoped, for starters, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will reexamine its mission, review how it defines, categorizes, certifies, funds, promotes and supports small businesses. With all due respect, it’s a bureaucracy that moves at a glacial pace and is never really tuned in to the prevailing business conditions, rapidly changing technology, addresses or resolves issues for years. On the contrary, it is an impediment to growth and entrepreneurship. It is mired in industrial-age rules, regulations, industrial codes, and bureaucracy thus creating too many barriers to entry that discourage start-ups and innovative companies to do business with the federal government and established small business to stay in business…”

“The key to growing and supporting small businesses is to remove all barriers to entry to the government. Doing business with the government should be easy and intuitive and devoid of red tape and bureaucracy. Here are some ways in which the SBA can streamline entry to the government marketplace.

  1. Establish fee for service centers (online and in-person) across the country, similar to Banks and serve the needs of small businesses just-in-time and at the point of need. Small business owners can use the drive-through services or talk to service center personnel and have their needs met – whether they are registrations, certifications, mentor-protege/JV approvals, security clearances, training, small business loans, disaster loans, or other needs.
  2. Review and revise the rigid and outdated NAICS developed in the 1930’s to classify businesses by the type of economic activity they primarily engage in. As economic activities, industries, technologies change rapidly, the classifications, revenue and employee size standards need to keep pace with the changes, so that they can map to the types of services being procured by the federal government from industry now and in the future…” Read the full article here.

Source: Is SBA an Impediment to Entrepreneurship & Growth? – By Dolly Oberoi, January 9, 2022. LinkedIn.

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