Small Business Access to Capital

Small Business Access to Capital

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Excerpt from Small Business Access to Capital: Impediments and Options; Hearing Before the Committee on Small Business, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Second Session, Washington, DC, February 28, 1996

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2359, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jan Meyers (chair of the Committee) presiding.

Chair Meyers. Good morning.

Our hearing this morning is the first in a series that this committee will hold over the next few months on small business' access to capital. In this morning's hearing, we will endeavor to identify "the problem,'' that is: What are the current conditions and availability of capital for small businesses? What are the specific obstacles and opportunities that small businessmen and women face in this area?

Once we have clearly defined the problem, the committee will explore in future hearings specific capitalization options such as bank lending and venture capital. Let me also say at the outset that this series of hearings will focus on sources of capital available through the private sector. We are not looking for another Government solution to what is a bad problem. While there are numerous Federal Government programs designed to facilitate small businesses in meeting their capital needs, these programs can not and should not be the sole source of financing for a small business.

Moreover, the American people, and especially small businessmen and women, have made it clear that Government should be smaller, less burdensome, and less intrusive. Therefore, I believe it is important for us at this juncture to explore ways that the private sector can marshall its resources and innovative talents to meet a greater part of the capital needs of this country's small businesses

This issue is also not just important to small business, it is critical for the country as a whole. For instance, in 1994 small businesses accounted for - and I was really amazed at this statistic - 99.7 of the Nation's employers. They employ 54 percent of the private work force, contributed 52 percent of all sales in the United States, were responsible for 50 percent of the private gross domestic product, and produced an estimated 62 percent of the new jobs in that year.

These are extremely impressive statistics that could never have been achieved without capital.

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