Enarlier this month, I met with leaders in the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, and also with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Kaine to discuss the impact of current law and public policy on tiny companies owned by men and women across the nation. I sometimes call them Indies, or even “consumer-business owners”, because their lives straddle both categories of people. These tiny businesses are not “small” in the traditional sense. After all, a “small” business in this nation can generate millions of dollars in annual revenue and still be described as “small.” My message about “micro,” as opposed to “small” businesses was well-received by SBA staff.
This morning, John Jantsch Tweeted that Karen G. Mills, Administrator of US Small Business Administration (pictured), is accepting questions from small business owners via American Express OPEN Forum. I've been an American Express member since 1991, and have participated in the Open Forum since its inception. I jumped at the change to pose a question, and I am hopeful that Ms Mills and her team will respond to it. I was limited to 500 characters, hence a few abbreviations. Here's what I asked:
How can we help you empower families to start businesses without loans? Today, men and women losing their jobs start businesses to support themselves. They don't want a loan, and sometimes can't get one.
Their businesses ARE their jobs, yet laws w/ unintended consequences, like Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, put them out of biz with no benefit to consumers.
These families don't have lobbyists, yet new laws affect them more than large companies with such resources?
How can we help?
If you are a member of OPEN Forum, you can ask your question here. The live Q&A will be broadcast on OPEN Forum on Wednesday, September 29th at 2:00 pm ET. All questions must be submitted by 5:00pm ET Monday, September 27th. Speaker and broadcast dates are subject to change.
Question: Is this an important question? Did I make good use of my 500 characters? If you asked a question there, what did you ask?