What do small businesses mean to the U.S. economy?
As it turns out, quite a lot.
According to a 2019 report from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses with fewer than 500 employees make up 44% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and accounted for 62% of all new jobs created between 1995 and 2020.
But today small businesses face a number of ongoing challenges—from a tight labor market and rising wage costs, to ballooning inflation rates and lingering impacts from the COVID-19 disruptions of the past few years.
As the engine that drives our economy, small businesses deserve our help—and respect.
A Mission to Preserve Free Enterprise
Ever since it was established as an independent agency of the federal government nearly 70 years ago, the U.S. Small Business Administration has seized on its mission to “aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.”
At no time in our nation’s history has this mission been more critical than it is today.
Case in point? The landmark Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the early stages of the pandemic, the SBA—in partnership with lenders across the spectrum that were responsible for accepting applications, underwriting, and funding the PPP loans — ultimately distributed over $800 billion in low-interest loans to small businesses. Most of these loans were subsequently forgiven, and research from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates the PPP saved between 2 to 3 million “job-years of employment.”
Of course, none of this could have been accomplished without the innovative and dedicated efforts of lenders of all sizes and stripes—nor without the trusted partnerships that have been built over decades between SBA lenders and the agency.
This essential partnership between the SBA and private sector lenders has been a true success story—one that must continue in order to ensure small businesses maintain their essential role in our economy well into the future.
A Champion for Small Business
Beyond the PPP initiative, the SBA helps small businesses every day through its flagship loan guarantee and real estate financing assistance, including the 7a, Express, Microloan, and CDC/504 programs. At ORMS, we are committed to supporting SBA lenders in administering the unique due diligence and risk management requirements of such loans, as well as advocating for and ensuring small businesses continue to have ready access to such financing when needed.
That’s why May 4, 2022 was an exciting day for ORMS – we formally received the SBA Connecticut 2022 Financial Champion Award from the SBA’s Connecticut District Office.
At ORMS, we are particularly proud of this award, as it recognizes our firm’s collective advocacy efforts to help small businesses obtain SBA financing. Of course, our efforts do not stop with helping borrowers obtain SBA loans. ORMS also helps non-SBA lenders and others involved in commercial real estate transactions manage their environmental risk and appraisal review process uniquely and effectively.
This award would not have been possible without the hard work and expertise provided by our wonderful staff, as well as the ongoing loyalty and support of our clients. We also wish to congratulate the other Small Business Week 2022 Award Winners– we’re honored to be listed amongst them, and we look forward to working with them to further the cause of small business in the future.
Small business is truly the lifeblood of our nation’s economy. It’s the engine that drives job growth, fosters innovation, and helps thousands to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. As financial services professionals, it’s up to all of us to do what we can to help keep these dreams alive.