President Trump’s commitment to improving the economy and the engine that drives it — small businesses — has been undeterred. And, when he approved the federal government’s fiscal year budget in late December, he secured the future of America’s small businesses and our nation’s ability to recover after disasters with funding for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Prior to this booming economic era, our small businesses were struggling and trying to survive from the Great Recession. In the true spirit of the American Dream, though, they reshaped, innovated and persevered. Their contributions have not gone unnoticed, and now, with business optimism and confidence remaining historically high, they’re poised for growth and expansion. Under this administration and with the federal government’s strong support for them, including SBA’s, it will be that much easier. 

In the Great Lakes region in FY 2019, SBA partners advised more than 80,000 small-business owners and the SBA supported nearly $5.6 billion in loans, including $921 million here in Michigan. Those billions of dollars and hours of counseling are supporting small-business growth and expansion, creating jobs, higher wages and continued innovation.

With the budget approval, Congress and President Trump acknowledged investments in SBA’s programs like these will continue to provide a solid return for our economy. The additional support for entrepreneurial development and increased funds for the microloan program – which plays an important role in distressed communities, where access to conventional lending remains a challenge – will further help startups and underserved markets, including women, minorities and veterans. 

Beyond SBA’s budget approval, President Trump also put forth efforts to help small businesses with retirement benefits. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Security (SECURE) Act closed the retirement gap for the approximately 50% of our nation’s workers – those employed by small businesses. It allows small businesses to band together to offer retirement plans for their employees, and benefit from economies of scale and tax incentives to increase retirement security for American workers.

As we continue into 2020, I encourage you to celebrate our country’s rise from recession to historic economic growth. Also, join me in thanking the small-business owners who, through their determination, will continue to carry our country forward with job creation, innovation and perseverance into a new Roaring '20s economic era. 

Rob Scott, Great Lakes regional administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, Columbus, Ohio

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