Warren Goes Big on Small Business in New Policy Push

(CN) — Polling in a three-way tie for third place as she heads to Las Vegas for Wednesday night’s debate, Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren released a plan Wednesday to help small U.S. businesses.

Warren says her plan addresses the challenges owners face by providing access to credit, leveling the competitive playing field by breaking up monopolies, and fostering green small businesses that address the climate crisis. She’d also help them attract and retain employees and deal with regulatory requirements, noting that the formation of small businesses is dropping in the U.S., particularly among communities of color.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event on Jan. 20, 2020, in Grimes, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gentrification raises costs for business owners, and today just 10% of small businesses with employees have black or Latino owners, according to the policy announcement on Warren’s campaign website.

“This isn’t a question of good ideas: just look at the many successful examples of Black and Latinx-owned businesses that contribute more than a trillion in revenueto our economy,” she wrote. “Entrepreneurs of color in particular are a powerful force, with Latinx-owned businesses growing at double the rate of all American businesses. But they face unique barriers to access: access to capital, resources, and markets.”

When Washington politicians say they’re pro-business, Warren explained, that often means they’re pro-big business.

“And being pro big-business means, by and large, being pro-white male businesses,” she added, because those companies can afford large campaign donations.

Warren promised to more equitably distribute government seed funds as well as create a $7 billion “Small Business Equity Fund” to support 100,000 new minority-owned businesses that could provide 1.1 million jobs. She said she would end the corporate corruption that allows giant corporations a leg up in getting federal contracts, and pledged to invest $5 billion over the next decade in entrepreneurs who are working on sustainable farming and food systems.

Providing support to community banks and credit unions, as well as community development financial institutions, is also crucial, Warren noted. Standing up to mergers to prevent big corporations from controlling markets will require enforcing federal antitrust laws, something she also pledged to do.

“America is an entrepreneurial country — but we can do a better job of giving every American a fair shot at starting and growing their small business,” Warren wrote. “I’ve often said the key question isn’t big governments vs. small government, but who government works for.”

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