Small Business Owners on Healthcare

There are an estimated 30.7 million small businesses (defined as those with fewer than 500 employees) in the United States, employing approximately 60 million people.1 Small firms make up 99 percent of U.S. employers, and these businesses create 66 percent of new private-sector jobs.2 Small businesses, like their larger counterparts, have not been shielded from the increasing cost of health care. Without advantages such as a larger pool of insured employees, more bargaining power with health insurance companies, and the benefit of full-time human resources personnel, small-business owners are often left with little recourse and few options when a health insurance carrier hikes costs.

Inequity in Small Business Lending

Better-qualified black and Hispanic testers who shopped for small business loans at Los Angeles area bank branches were treated worse than less qualified white testers, a new study found.

The study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), also found steep declines in government-backed lending to black business owners between 2008 and 2016.

Building Women’s Wealth Through Business Ownership

This report explores ways business ownership can serve as a wealth-building tool for women, explains the systemic barriers impeding women’s ability to build wealth through business ownership, and suggests ways grant makers, policy advocates, and practitioners can intentionally promote wealth-building by entrepreneurial women through business ownership.

The Future of Banking

This report is based on research findings from focus groups and interviews. The focus groups were conducted with LMI individuals in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, and the interviews were done with policy experts, regulators and representatives from the financial services sector. In sharing their experiences with the financial system, we have identified common challenges encountered by LMI consumers of color, and offer recommendations to address on-going barriers to financial inclusion.

Entrepreneurship in Communities of Color

This guide gives ecosystem builders and local developers an overview of key concepts and general recommendations on how to use entrepreneurship ecosystem building to develop high-growth entrepreneurship in communities of color. The information in this guide was compiled through conversations with industry leaders, prior research and current ecosystem builders who have designed and led successful inclusive ecosystem building strategies in communities of color.

Establish a Public Credit Registry

America’s credit reporting system is controlled by 3 big, for-profit companies—Experian, Transunion, and Equifax—which collect lending and payment data on 220 million Americans. They collect this data without consumers’ permission or approval, there is no way for consumers to opt out, and consumers must pay to access their own scores.

Women-Owned Employer Businesses

In March 2019, the Office of Advocacy published a fact sheet titled “Small Business Facts: Spotlight on Women-Owned Employer Businesses”, written by Nora Esposito, Economic Research Fellow. This fact sheet highlights contributions made by 1.1 million women-owned employer businesses to the U.S. economy, as well as areas for future growth. The fact sheet also provides information on industrial and geographic diversity of women-owned employer businesses. Read the fact sheet to learn more.

CA Small Business Owners On Healthcare Policies

Small Business Majority published a new report, California small business owners support policies to expand health coverage access and lower costs. The poll of 300 California small business owners revealed entrepreneurs strongly support proposals to bolster the state’s healthcare system, including expanding access to tax credits and addressing issues related to cost and transparency.

Shaping Small Business Lending Policy

With limited financial sophistication, entrepreneurial consumers approach the financial marketplace more like retail financial consumers than like business customers. However, an assumption of both legislators and regulators is that business borrowers are more financially savvy than consumer borrowers and thus do not require protections that are as broad reaching. This gap between marketplace policy protections and the lived reality of the vast majority of small business entrepreneurs sets the stage for entrepreneurial consumers to fall through the regulatory cracks, creating the potential for exploitation and abuse. This situation may be exacerbated for minority entrepreneurs, who belong to protected classes that generally are more vulnerable to exploitation in marketplaces, including the small business lending marketplace. This article details the current status of the policy gap relative to minority entrepreneurial consumers and presents a matched-pair mystery shopping study to demonstrate the critical need for reliable, primary data to inform regulatory agencies as they work to implement appropriate protections to ensure equal access to credit across the small business lending marketplace.

Bank Credit to Small Businesses

In February 2019, the Office of Advocacy published a fact sheet titled “Small Business Facts: What Is the Status of Bank Credit to Small Businesses?” written by Victoria Williams, Research Economist. The fact sheet finds that small business lending growth lagged behind large business lending growth from 2016 to 2017. While small banks had higher shares of small business loans relative to their assets than large banks, large banks issued the majority of small business loans overall. Read the fact sheet to learn more.