The Engine of Growth
June 11-12, 2012
U.S. Small Business Administration
The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations found in this study are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the United States Small Business Administration, or the United States government
1. The recent recovery has been slow. Current growth rates are below
historical averages, resulting in levels far below “full capacity”. Does
this mean that there is a new economic reality, i.e. a new level for the
2. Two contradictory pictures of the Corporate Sector. Large Firms’
profits are at historical highs, but at mid cycle for Small Firms.
3. Small firms’ access to capital may be improving slightly, but lack of
data makes it difficult to confirm.
4. The big SME policy issues.
5. The federal government support for small firms.
Small Businesses in the U.S. Economy
1. Broadly classified as firms with 500 or less employees.
2. Represent 99.7% of all employer firms;
3. Employ just over half of all private sector employees;
4. Have generated 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years;
5. Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP;
6. Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
The economy: Actual vs. Potential Real GDP.
(a) growth rates: below “normal”: Current 1.9% vs. Historical 3.4
(b) Level: room for growth; Actual 95% vs. historical average 100%.
Government contractions are a big deal, and are
associated with major structural changes in the economy.
•During the Great Recession (2008Q1 to 2009Q2) the contraction was centered
around the private sector while the Government Sector expanded.
•During the recent recovery, the Private Sector expanded and the Government
NFIB small firms’ Sales and Earnings are rebounding
strongly, especially during 2012.
Peak After Tax Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP.
Large firms’ exposure to foreign and commodity markets.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Account , Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Employment by firm size: Small firms got hit hard during this
recession. Recovery is slow.
Small Firms’ Capital Expenditure Plans have rebounded,
but not as much as Sales and Earnings.
Capital goods orders for the nation, have
returned to pre-crisis levels.
Credit Demand at small and large firms
FED: Rebounding from a typical cyclical decline.
NFIB: Still near the lowest levels in 25 years.
Credit Supply: Small Loan Balances (and possibly
originations) at Commercial Banks are still declining.
SBA loan guarantees:
(a) Dollar Value guarantees have returned to pre-recession levels;
(b) Number of guarantees are still lagging.
The big issues in SME: Job creation
Small firms vs. young firms
1. “Small firms create 64% of net new jobs”;
2. “Young firms create all the new jobs”;
3. “High growth high impact firms create most new jobs”;
4. “A small number (less than 1%) of big firms create 60% of net new
jobs and pay higher wages and benefits”
Policy implications: Target government assistance to
1. All small firms who provide not only job creation, but income
distributions and foster greater competition;
2. young, innovative firms that provide the greatest impact on future
job creation, and economic growth;
3. to proven (incumbent) fast growing firms, but early in their growth
The big issues in SME: Innovation
The technological lifecycle vs. the firm lifecycle
1. 1980’s: “The rate of technological change impacts economic growth.”
2. 1990s – 2000s: “Small, young firms, are the economic agents with the greatest
propensity to introduce new technologies”
Policy Implications: Government can foster:
1. Promising new technologies (basic R&D, financial, technical, tax)
2. Entrepreneurship (training, social networks, legal, educational infrastructures
1. Young, innovative firms who are ideas rich, but collateral poor could benefit from
their intangible assets (patents, Trade Marks, etc.) as the basis for intangiblebased collateral.
2. Social and technological networks foster informal knowledge “spill-over” as
innovation rarely occurs in isolation, but is a highly interactive process, which
increasingly involves collaboration by a diverse network of stakeholders,
institutions and users.
3. Faster technological innovation is often accompanied with a rising need for
higher skilled labor force. SMEs are at a disadvantage at training their workforce.
The big issues in SME: Access to finance
Big vs. small; Credit Scores vs. Relationship Banking
Long-standing debate- The problem the Asymmetry of SME information.
1. “Larger financial institutions, through their Credit Scores, can better serve the
financial needs of SMEs at a lower cost”
2. “Smaller, financial institutions, with their better SMEs banking relationships are
better suited to understand and provide for the financial needs of SMEs”
Policy Implications - Regulations should foster banking:
The 2008-2009 financial crisis:
Disproportional impact on SME financing.
Lack of data; question if it was due to a supply or demand issue.
Basel III: greater differentiation of financial assets and capital reserves.
•SME loans 100% risk weight;
•Loans to larger firms 20% risk weight;
•SME loans with an 80% guarantees from AAA rated entity will l reduce the capital
requirement form 100% to 20%;
•Participation of SME in the credit decision making process: mutual guarantee and
credit mediation schemes.
The big issues in SME: Globalization and Demand Policies
Reducing barriers, rationalizing procurement, and collaborating with
the private sector.
1. High entry barriers (mostly informational) create a comparative disadvantage for
SMEs in accessing foreign markets;
2. SME are rarely represented at international trade negotiations.
Policy implications: Governments can:
1. Provide informational services and training for SMEs;
2. Include SME issues in trade negotiations;
3. Act as a catalyst in assisting SMEs in entering the Global Supply Chain.
Demand-side policies - Public procurement:
The use of public procurement can stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation,
create or enlarge markets, and thus influence production and consumption trends,
all the while maintaining efficiency and competition objectives.
Policy implications: Governments can:
1. Rationalize procurement practices to foster specific objectives;
2. Collaborate with private sector to leverage assets, infrastructures, common
U.S. government actions: The Federal Reserve
Monetary Policy: Conventional and non-conventional.
The Federal Reserve: Monetary Policy
1. Drastically reduced short-term interest rates (traditional);
2. Intervenes outside its traditional sphere of influence to ensure liquidity and price
stability in the financial markets (non-traditional):
a) Extends direct-lending to Primary Dealers in Equity Markets;
b) Directly purchases equities of trouble financial institutions;
c) Guarantees assets of large financial institutions;
d) Provides funding for the guarantees of large financial institutions (BofA and
e) Enhances liquidity in Asset Baked Markets;
f) Swaps (sells) "safe" treasuries for less liquid assets;
g) Purchases ABS of recent vintage;
h) Enhances liquidity in the currency markets;
i) Swaps U.S. dollars for other currencies with other central banks;
j) Purchases long-term U.S. treasuries (AKA “Quantitative Easing”).
U.S. government actions: Congress and the Administration
Fiscal Policy: Tax cuts, loan guarantees, transfers to persons.
Economic Stimulus Act of 2008: $152 billion to extend tax rebates to low
and middle-income individuals, and for accelerated capital depreciation for
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: $700 billion to establish
the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to assist financial institutions.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: $787 billion for tax
cuts, social programs, infrastructure Investment, energy efficiencies and
renewable energy investment, and small business related programs.
Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 creates a $30 billion small
business lending fund, provides $12 billion in tax cuts to help small
businesses, and provides $504 millions to SBA.
America Invest Act of 2011 revises patent laws from “first to invent” to “first
to file”. The act simplifies and reduces the cost of patenting, provides for
accelerated patent process.
Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act of 2012 (JOBS Act). Liberalizes
small equity issuance by allowing SMEs to raise capital via the internet with
minimal regulation (Crowdfunding). Increases the minimum issuance that
requires SEC oversight form $5.0 Million/500 investors to $50.0 Million/2000
investors . Introduces Emerging Growth Companies.
Overview of SBA Programs
The three Cs of SBA:
SBA supports small businesses through three major
•Capital Access: credit & investment programs
Within Capital Access, SBA provides several core financing
programs for small business
•Loan guarantees for
new & existing
•Used for general
•Up to $5 Million
•Nearly 5,000 banks
and credit unions all
across the country
financing (e.g. land,
•Up to $5 or 5.5 Million
•+ 250 Community
•Smaller loans up to
•Over 170 non-profit
•Debentures to support
private equity capital,
long-term, and debtsecurity investments
•Contracting: increase access to federal procurement for
•Counseling: technical support through Small Business
Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and
•300 Small Business
•Privately owned and
Federal Stimulus: The SBA Component.
ARRA of 2009: increased SBA funding by $680 million, which led to
$30 billion in additional loan support.
Small Business Act of 2010: increased SBA funding by $505 million,
which is led to $15 billion in additional loan support.
Increased guarantees from 75% to 90% [temporary];
Reduced or eliminated fees [temporary] ;
Increased loan limits [permanent]:
•7(a), and 504 Programs from $ 2 million to $5 or to $5.5 million;
•Express Loans from $ 350,000 to $ 1 million;
•Microloans from $35,000 to $50,000;
Increased pricing flexibility : formerly only Prime +, now also Libor +.
New Programs at SBA: Capital Access
Motor vehicle dealer floor provides financing for auto dealers’ inventories.
Export Assistance to increase small business exports.
• Export Express is now permanent with a 90% guarantee for loans up to $350,000
and 75% for loans between $350,000 and $500,000;
A new $90 million program for export related grants to states over three years ;
504 Program changes:
• Secondary market: Larger loan size requires distribution of risk;
• Refinancing: It is now possible to obtain a 504 guarantee for refinancing real
estate and fixed asset loans. Strict eligibility requirements. Temporary, and with
zero taxpayers subsidy.
Community Advantage Program: 75-85% loan guarantees available to “mission
focused” financial institutions such as Certified Development Financial Institutions,
Certified Development Companies, and Non-profit SBA Microlending Intermediaries.
Government Intervention and The Small
Business Component. Tax Benefits
Tax benefits to increase investment and employment:
Accelerated first year depreciation to 50% for 2008-20010 capital purchases.
Increased expensing limit from $133,000 to $250,000 (2008-2009) to
$500,000 for 2010-2011.
100% exclusion on capital gains taxes for purchases of small businesses
$1,000 new employee tax credit.
Up to 35% tax credits toward employee healthcare premiums.
Up to $10,000 start-up costs deductibility
We have seen a noticeable rise in our equipment related loan guarantees
from around 4% to 6.5% of our 7(a) program.
U.S. government actions: Innovation
Linking and leveraging government and private assets.
1. National Innovation Marketplace. A web-based portal to connect technology
requestors and potential suppliers.
2. National Network for Manufacturing Innovation creates a network industry,
academic institutions, federal agencies, and states to provide shared assets to
access cutting-edge capabilities to educate students and train workers in
advanced manufacturing skills.
3. National Design Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium enables small
and medium-sized manufacturers to develop and test their products using
advanced modeling and simulation tools that have historically only been
available to large companies.
4. Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a
cluster-based investments, bring together educational, research organizations,
state and regional economic development authorities, and the private sector to
conduct proof-of-concept and commercialization activities
5. ExporTech™ Program assists manufacturers in developing an international
growth plan, by providing expert advisors and connects manufacturers with
federal, state and local organizations to quicken export sales.
U.S. government actions: Government Procurement
Increased contracts to SMEs and reduced payment time
1. SBA is responsible for ensuring that 23% of all federal prime
government contracts go to small businesses.
2. Since 2009, nearly $300 billions of federal prime contracts and $200
billions of subcontracts have gone to small businesses.
3. Reduced the payment time from 30 days to 15 days.
4. Established the Interagency Taskforce on Federal Contracting
Opportunities for SME’s and minorities.