On The Inside: SBA Priorities For The Near Future

Barack Obama was on his way to his second presidential term in 2008, and Xi Jinping was assuming his role as a leader in China. Facebook bought Instagram in the year 2012, and Snap was only a year old. Lyft was the first ride-sharing company to enter the market in 2012, just a few years ahead of Uber. (Although I did experience the first Uber trip in 2012 according to the app’s ride record.) DoorDash was not yet in existence; Tinder was getting up and running. Carly Rae Jepsen and Gotye had hit songs, as did One Direction was still topping charts (as an ensemble).

Why do we need to take a brief review? Because, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, in early spring 2020, a portion of our responses to public policy depended on data on small-business owners from the year 2012. In particular, it was the Survey of Business Owners (SBO) from that year.

It’s not entirely true, and certainly not in all cases. However, when policymakers, the media, the public, and everyone was trying to figure out the impact of the pandemic and the lockdowns that were imposed on small-scale businesses, They searched in search of facts. What did they discover?

  • The researchers would have found the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE); however, the ASE was canceled, so the year was the latest year for information. It was a combination of parts that comprised SBO into SBO, but it did not include all. The SBO was more precise in its geographical and industry data.
  • They could have gotten data from the Annual Business Survey (ABS) that succeeded, as did the SBO and the ASE. However, the ABS data release for the 2019 ABS data release wasn’t made until May 31, 2020.
  • They could have been able to reach 2012. SBO results.

In the year 2000, when Congress, along with Trump Trump administration, was preparing massive emergency assistance initiatives like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) A full view of the American small – and the medium-sized business landscape was wasn’t available until 2012. (Later, during the heat of summer, economic analyst Rob Fairlie provided insightful analysis using an analysis of the Current Population Survey.)

National Small Business Week that ends today provides an opportunity to examine the way small-sized companies are performing and take an in-depth check at the primary government agency responsible for helping these businesses. This year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) can draw lessons from COVID-19’s experiences and collaborate with Congress to make improvements based on the lessons gained from. There are plenty of external obstacles, which this column discussed earlier. We will now examine some of the internal challenges.

Improvements and Innovations in Data

The data gaps that exist about small-sized businesses aren’t due to the SBA. In particular, the Census Bureau has been a source of innovative products, from Business Dynamics Statistics and Business Formation Statistics to the Small Business Pulse Survey. This Pulse Survey was developed in the aftermath of the pandemic to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the small business. The column is based on it often. It also has reliable, regularly updated information provided by the Federal Reserve on small business credit.

However, as the SBO instance shows, there are plenty of opportunities to improve, first, Pulse or ABS survey and therefore can’t cover the whole world of young and small businesses.

The SBA is faced with some challenges concerning this issue. Even though it’s been identified as an “internal problem” for the SBA doesn’t mean that it can solve it. The post-COVID time is as good an opportunity to the agency–perhaps with the support of Congress as well as members of the National Economic Council, or other federal agencies, such as USDA–to initiate a meaningful discussion and reform plan on the best way to improve small-business and entrepreneurship information.

Getting Entrepreneurial About Entrepreneurial Development

Before COVID-19, the most important line item of the SBA budget was for programs to develop entrepreneurs, which included Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) and similar. These programs serve tens of thousands of small companies each year, and for many, they are the most appropriate place to start when beginning a new venture.

There is no doubt about their necessity and purpose. The Congressional Research Service overview revealed the “general acceptance” that this program “serves an important function as well as, in the vast majority of the time, provide services that aren’t offered elsewhere.” The satisfaction of being satisfied, however, isn’t the same as being content with your performance. This CRS report cited the “general belief that improving the effectiveness of federal training programs would be effective and responsive to requirements of small businesses would aid in retaining and creating jobs.”

The report highlighted numerous proposals in Congress to establish outcomes-based measures in the SBA’s programs. Policymakers generally praise the SBA’s policies. Entrepreneurial development programs, particularly following COVID-19, they’d prefer to know more about their effects.

The environment that these applications operate on is also changing rapidly. John Haltiwanger has pointed out that one-third of the increase in new business applications between 2019 until 2020 was attributable to “nonstore retail stores.” I.e., companies that sell online. The type of startups and small organisations that SBDCs aim to serve differs from only two years ago, let even a few decades back.

Procuring Reform

Small-scale businesses’ involvement in Federal contracting has been in a constant decline for the past decade. However, only a tiny percentage of small employers (roughly 2 percent) are federal contractors. However, this procurement market is vital for a variety of reasons. Economic development, competition, and opportunities for businesses with low representation owners and national security, as well as government innovation — these are the reasons that procurement by small companies serve.

As with data as well, the SBA is restricted in terms of what it can accomplish. However, small-business contracting is on the radar of the White House. Additionally, the SBA is the one responsible for distributing agencies-wide purchasing scorecards every year. It allows them to change the things that are viewed and how it is analyzed.

The expansion of small-business participation in federal procurements will receive broad acceptance. Recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices survey revealed that the majority of respondents would support the idea. The political support has been and is expected to be bipartisan. In a recent email to Congress Bipartisan Policy Center, Bipartisan Policy Center has urged minor business-friendly reforms in the upcoming legislative instruments.


It is not the end of the possibilities for internal growth and goals within SBA. Response to crises, specifically PPP, remains a top priority on SBA’s agenda. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed areas where the agency may reorient its efforts after the problem has ended.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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