Note to Government: Move Over and Let Us Drive

Crack the code for creating new jobs, and we’ll crack the code for SMB long-term growth and profitability. It’s that simple.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of waiting for government to do something to solve unemployment. The recent months of haggling, finger-pointing, and stalling over the debt ceiling, while millions of Americans still can’t find jobs, and thousands of SMBs still struggle to survive, prove that waiting for the government to do anything is a lot like Waiting For Godot, only without the existential payoff.

That’s how Business Growth Advocate was born. We aim to rabble-rouse SMB to get its collective hands dirty building new era business strategies, public policy initiatives, and private enterprise partnerships. History is rife with examples of how private enterprise has influenced public policy for the better. We’ve done it before. Let’s do it again.

After all, who’s more qualified to break through the morass and malaise of the current slump? The government? Or you?

Of course it’s you. The collective brainpower, experience, and sense of urgency in this virtual room blow everything else straight out of the water.

To put a fine point on it, let’s take a look at what we typically see from the government in the way of job creation. The president is set to address the nation sometime in September. It won’t be surprising if we hear a version of what we always hear from the government on this topic.

  1. Infrastructure investment to create publicly-funded jobs
  2. Tax credits meant to incentivize businesses to add jobs
  3. Tax cuts intended to create cash flow so businesses can start hiring again
  4. Regulatory reform to eliminate pointless and burdensome obstacles that stifle business growth

Far be it from most of us to look a gift horse in the mouth. But I hope you’ll pardon my bluntness when I say that these four old workhorse concepts are starting to feel like worn-out nags, rode hard and put away wet.  Yes, okay, let’s do them; it might help a little. But after we get done trotting them around the track a time or two, could we get some fresh horses here?

The problem with generating public policy in the midst of a crisis is that the public policy tends to start and end with the crisis at hand. The questions all tend to be about how to get out of the hole. Getting out of the hole is important, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Every entrepreneur reading this knows that when you focus on just getting out of the hole, your ideas are narrow, short-sighted, and more like bandaids than true innovations.

A short-term fix for job growth might arguably work coming out of a cyclical recession, because we might just need something to tide the economy over until the cycle turns upward again.

But we’re not in a cyclical recession. We’re in a structural recession. A short-term fix for job growth ignores and might even delay the structural changes that are critical to building a new economy.

Here’s an idea. How about if we in the SMB community start pushing hard for some structural changes that will support SMB growth, fuel job creation, and on top of that be good for the public?

I’ve got an idea that I’ll introduce in part 2 of this post. While I’m working on that, I’d love to hear your ideas.

If you were granted three wishes to support the health and growth of your business, what would they be?

Jayne Speich is co-founder of Business Growth Advocate, a free online magazine dedicated to the survival and growth of small business in the new era.

You can find all of Jayne’s activities at

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