– George A. Cloutier, a graduate of Harvard Business School, is the founder and CEO of American Management Services, one of the Nation’s largest turnaround and management services firms specializing in small and mid-size companies. He is also the author of the bestselling book, “Profits Aren’t Everything, They’re the Only Thing”. The opinions expressed are his own. –
The lack of serious small business aid proposals, empty rhetoric, and general intransigence by the Republicans has anointed the Democrats by default as “The Party of Small Business.”
The Obama bill to inject $30 billion into community banks with the primary focus of expanding small business lending, is hardly a panacea. But Republican attempts to block the bill, for a variety of political (although not practical) reasons, amounts to more stumbling and bumbling by the opposition that has produced no worthwhile alternative.
Choosing not to increase taxes is not a stimulus, but an overused bandaid designed to gain votes. Republican candidate Carly Fiorina’s proposal to have a two-year tax holiday may create jobs for her and additional money in the system, but it’s not going to induce any small business owner to add new jobs that weren’t already planned.
Proponents say this bill could produce up to $300 billion dollars in expanded lending to starving small businesses. It will likely produce substantially less, but something is always better then nothing. Before Republican senators George Voinovich and George LeMieux recently announced they would vote for the bill, this revenue-neutral bill was astonishingly blocked by the party of “no.” So far proposals to help small business, from both parties, have lacked the fundamental understanding that small businesses need working capital (aka cash). This lack of cash is the biggest blockage to expansion in the small business sector.