A Georgia congressman introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at boosting small businesses and offering incentives to startup companies across the country through expanded access to training programs and entrepreneurial resources.
The Startup Act, conceived by Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., would serve as an amendment to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, which is designed to help job-seekers "access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market" and pair employers "with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy."
The new bill would also authorize the Department of Labor to conduct a three-year, multi-state study to analyze entrepreneurial skill development programs and their effect on the U.S. economy.
"I am proud to lead this effort to help current and future entrepreneurs access the resources they need to create jobs, grow our economy, and realize the American Dream," Allen said in a statement.
Before taking office in 2015, Allen founded and oversaw a construction company in Georgia; and after operating in the small-business realm for roughly four decades, Allen said he fully understands "how federal policies impact entrepreneurs and job creators."
Eric Parker, president of Make Startups, said the legislation will be a welcome sight, as U.S. businesses recover from the COVID-19 shutdown of 2020.
Make Startups' mission is ''to ensure a free, just, and equitable society; through robust entrepreneurship training, access to capital, and sustainable community support,'' according to its website.
The Startup Act — which has reportedly garnered the endorsements of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and Make Startups — could help "tremendous numbers of entrepreneurs in our communities, both urban and rural, [who] are facing poverty while trying to start their business," Parker said.
"The Startup Act will remove barriers and help provide them with equitable access to training and support from our workforce system," he said in a statement.
The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy estimates there were 31.7 million small businesses in the United States as of 2017, or three years before the COVID-19 pandemic had a tangible effect on small to medium-sized companies.
A small business is defined as having under 500 employees.
Also, according to SBA data, 47% of private sector employees from 2017 were affiliated with small businesses.
That same year, 40% of private sector payrolls involved small businesses.
The SBA's Office of Advocacy reports the 15-year survival rate of a startup or small business was nearly 26% from 1994 through 2018.
Only time will tell if Allen's bill improves the long-term survival rates of startup outfits. The same goes with enhancing consumer confidence.
The June 2022 consumer-confidence report among small-business owners yielded the survey's lowest marks in 9½ years.
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