Every other week, On Small Business reaches out to a panel of young entrepreneurs for answers to some of the most pressing questions facing small business owners. The following responses are provided by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).
Q: What policy battles or government issues will you be watching most closely in 2013?
Marcus E. Ray, Co-Founder and COO of Provider Solutions in Plan, Texas:
Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of American people is business.” Applicable then and now, this should be the mantra for elected officials as they create policy for the American businesses. Legislation that does not stimulate commerce and encourage job growth should not be implemented. Policies contrary to this ‘chief’ function actually restrict business development and encourage governmental dependency. Policy creations with mandated costs paralyze startup companies and discourage entrepreneurial pursuits. As a nation we have fought, died and currently defend ideals limiting governmental control — however, sadly, we give up such liberties and free market principles whimsically by the actions of a few and silence of the many.
As a nationwide healthcare staffing firm owner, I will be monitoring the rollout of the healthcare reform (Accountable Care Act) closely in 2013. The real problem is the unsustainable cost of Medicare, increased population that will need this care and a clear impending medical caregiver shortage. Regulations and policies will not fix these issues; the only fix will be the creative efforts of the American people and legislation which follows the wisdom of Coolidge.
Robert Kraft, president and CEO of First Edge Solutions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
In my mind, the fiscal cliff is still the most pressing issue. We need a positive resolution or at least game plan from Congress and President Obama to address that challenge we all face. It is absolutely imperative that confidence returns to the marketplace as our economy is completely based upon the velocity of money moving through our entire system. In other words, the more the money can move through our economic system at a faster rate, the better it will be for entrepreneurs and small business to innovate and succeed.
Eric Koester, founder of Zaarly in Washington, D.C.:
I’m concerned that the SEC is going to continue to slow-play certain provisions of the JOBS Act in 2013. In particular, I’m watching the handling of the ban on general solicitation. To me, lifting this ban is the most important aspect of the JOBS Act. Why? Because it lets business advertise that they are seeking funds. I’ve heard lots of stories of high-quality businesses with real revenue history unable to obtain banking loans (in no small part due to certain new provisions requiring banks to hold capital for their loans under Dodd-Frank).
The parents of a close friend of mine own a high-end home construction business with a history of revenue, but were turned down for a loan that would have been a slam dunk just a couple years ago. Instead, they were forced to scramble among family, friends and savings to get enough money to build a home that already had a buyer lined up! Removing this ban on general solicitation — already passed by Congress -- would immediately help those high-quality businesses being forced to lay off workers, reduce hiring or worst of all shutting down.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of promising young entrepreneurs.
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Do you have questions you would like to see answered by these young entrepreneurs? Share them with us in the comments below or via email and we’ll pass them along to the YEC for future series.