Obama Re-Considers Small Business Bailout

by Victor Cheng

I woke up early this morning to some truly incredible news for all of small businesses — including yours. I still can’t believe what is happening. Nor can I get my head around the drama of the past 36 hours.

 

This is a huge story… but one that has many parts to it. So forgive me for all the detail, but trust me on this one it’s worth your time to read about it.

 

But first, let me start from the beginning so you can follow along to see how the Obama administration just announced they are contemplating a total shift in the strategy of the $800 billion stimulus package.

 

Instead of bailing out big companies and banks, the new focus will be on helping small businesses like yours and mine create new jobs.

 

2 Weeks Ago

 

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About 2 weeks ago, I launched my own small business bailout program that you are probably now somewhat familiar with.

 

You can read the original news of this program as covered by Entrepreneur magazine:

Here’s an excerpt:

 

“I got fed up waiting for President Obama to help out small business owners, who, according to the Small Business Administration, create 7 out of 10 new jobs in this country. It’s crazy to be giving the big guys all the money and not doing more to help the little guys-especially when they’re creating all the jobs that will drive our economy’s recovery”

 

I made the argument that it was crazy stimulate / bailout big companies that aren’t very good at producing new jobs (think: GM, AIG) at the expense of ignoring small business that have an amazing track record of creating jobs.

 

Apparently this ruffled a few feathers as one of the first few people to learn more about this bailout program was one of the top 3 officials from the Small Business Administration.

 

36 HOURS AGO

 

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Then about 36 hours ago, a US News & World Report columnist did an attack piece of me calling me arrogant and obnoxious for my criticism of Obama’s flawed approach and for having the audacity to try to bailout 1 million small businesses on my own.

 

24 HOURS AGO

 

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About 24 hours ago, dozens of you flooded to my rescue calling the columnist out on his lack of facts, hateful attitude, and providing your positive reactions towards these bailout efforts.

 

You can read the attack piece by US News & World Report and your comments on the piece here:

(And seriously a very big thank you for all who commented. My mother always taught me to be self reliant as both her parents died before she turned 13 years of age. So it was a touching moment for me to see that when I decided to take a chance and stick my neck out there to help other entrepreneurs, that you guys “got my back”. It meant a lot.)

 

My response was basically this. You can call me names all you want (heck everyone’s entitled to an opinion), but is my logic on job creation wrong?

 

As I discovered this morning, it was not.

 

12 HOURS AGO

 

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I saw the following article in this morning’s Washington Post:

Here are the key excerpts from the article:

 

“The Obama administration is developing an initiative to take money from the $700 billion rescue program for the banking system and make it available to millions of small businesses, which officials say are essential to any economic recovery because they employ so many people.”

 

“The effort would represent a striking shift from the rescue program’s original mandate, since it would direct billions of bailout dollars toward a plan that aims more at saving jobs than at righting the financial system.”

 

“..officials say small companies are key to reversing the soaring unemployment rate, which has hit 9.5 percent.”

 

NOW

 

——–

 

As a business coach, I think this is great news for all small businesses.

 

And particularly after the attack from the US News & World Report, I was glad to see that my logic for how to end this recession is at the center of today’s announcement by the Obama administration — almost verbatim in terms of the exact points mentioned.

 

It was thrilling to me that Obama’s team appears to have been listening to us small business owners and seems willing to re-consider previous decisions.

 

Very refreshing I must say!

 

I personally did not expect to see that happen, and certainly not so quickly.

 

I do kind of wonder if anything I did played a role in today’s news.

 

Maybe my ruffling the feathers made it easier for our friends in the SBA to get their point across within the administration.

 

Maybe the pressure I’ve been put on Obama in the media prompted an earlier announcement of something previously in the works.

 

Maybe my communication strategy around my private small business bailout inspired the communication strategy of their public small business bailout.

 

Maybe it’s one big coincidence and it didn’t make any difference at all.

 

In any case, I’m thrilled Obama’s team might be coming around to a more factually supported way of thinking that also potentially provides small businesses with greater access to capital.

 

I wanted to share this news with you and also to remind you of the following. There’s power in numbers.

 

As a small business owner, our individual voices get drowned out in a sea of big company voices. But together, maybe we might have just enough influence to get heard. Today’s news has certainly encouraged me on that point.

 

I would recommend you forward this email to the other business owners you know so they can hear about the latest news that impacts them… and to be one of the 1 million small businesses that get bailed out at www.BailoutUSA.com

 

And on a personal note, I’m starting a cross country tour for the BailoutUSA.com program.  I’ll give speeches, radio, and television interviews while offering my style of small business bailout.

 

On Monday morning, a few hundred business owners in Plano, Texas will get “bailed out”. This week I’ll also be in Dallas, TX, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Providence, RI doing the same thing.

 

Hope you have a great week too!

 

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