How the U.S. Government Shutdown is Hurting Small Businesses

I was hoping that I was not going to have to write this article this month. I was looking forward to writing an upbeat and optimistic essay on what small businesses can expect in the new year.

Instead, I find myself going crazy over the U.S. federal government shutdown. Not that it’s having much of a direct impact on my life but instead because of the huge impact it is having on small business in this country.

It’s time to stop the madness!

I won’t bore you with the politics of the shutdown. They’re irrelevant at this time. I will leave that up to the politicians in Washington D.C. What’s most important to me, and I hope to you now, is the impact this shutdown is having on small business.

Here are the facts:

  • Access to capital. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is essentially closed at this moment. That means no SBA guaranteed loans. That will result in approximately $500 million a week in capital that does not getting loaned out to small businesses that depend on that capital to grow their businesses.

  • Assistance. The SBA also provides free counseling to small businesses thru the Small Business Development Centers and SCORE. Many of those offices are now either closed or have had to cut back on their services to small businesses during the shutdown.

  • Federal Procurement. There are many small businesses that depend upon federal government contracting for revenue. With the shutdown, federal agencies are prevented from entering into any new contracts. That’s over $300 million in business for small businesses each day.

  • Retail sales. With over 800,000 federal employees not working, imagine the impact of those lost wages on retailers in their communities. It is estimated that, as a whole, we will lose 5-10% of retail sales during the shutdown.

  • Hiring. Many small businesses, over 700,000, use E-Verify to make better hiring decisions. Some are required to do so by the federal government. That service is not available during the shutdown. It’s hard enough in this economy to find and keep good talent. Now it’s even tougher.

The list goes on…

It’s time to stop the madness!

What can you do? Contact your Senator today. See the web link below for each of their office phone numbers. Tell them…it’s time.

Featured image by: freepik