National Small Business Week, which began on Sunday, April 29 and runs through Saturday, May 5, is a time to highlight the role small businesses play in our economy. Small businesses represent 99% of all employer firms and account for half of our nation’s jobs and economic output. Innovation by small businesses spurs growth throughout the entire economy and boosts prosperity in their local communities, and NSBW is an important time to celebrate these contributions.
Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
The Philadelphia Capital Consortium, an initiative of the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, was launched last summer to help improve access to capital for small businesses throughout Philadelphia. The consortium is taking an innovative approach to getting capital into the hands of small business owners. Read more here.
Since the financial crisis, regulators and policymakers have concentrated on making brick and mortar banks safe and secure. But, away from regulatory scrutiny, a new sector has emerged led by non-bank online lenders and, if we aren’t careful, it has the potential to harm millions of small business borrowers. Self-policing is a step in the right direction, but increased regulatory vigilance is both warranted and desired.
On August 6 in Washington, a responsible business lending coalition of for-profit online and mission-based lenders, brokers, think tanks and small business advocates announced an agreement on rights that every small business borrower deserves when seeking a loan online, defined as a Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. This marks a turning point in the small business lending industry. For the first time, online lenders are agreeing to self-regulate and offer fair and transparent terms to small businesses. Any lender or broker will be permitted to sign onto the agreement, by signing a letter from their CEO attesting that they abide by the principles enshrined in the agreement.