- House Small Business Committee chairwoman says greater support for new entrepreneurs is needed after new business formation skyrockets in 2020
- Young, Black, and Hispanic entrepreneurs lead new activity and focus efforts on online retail
- At hearing, entrepreneurs call for expanded capital programs and equitable access to funding and programs
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
The chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee called for greater support to new entrepreneurs, who have swelled in number during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nydia M. Velázquez said Americans filed paperwork to establish 4.3 million new businesses in 2020. This marked a sharp reversal in the a lengthy decline in entrepreneurial activity, representing the highest level of newly established businesses in 15 years.
“The pandemic disrupted many areas of American life, not least of which being the nature of work. The challenges facing this new generation of entrepreneurs aren’t identical to the problems of the pre-pandemic economy,” said Velázquez. “We must work to understand these new challenges and find ways Congress can better support them in the post-pandemic world. It’s also vital that we grasp why entrepreneurship flourished during COVID and what we can do to sustain that increase in the future.”
Velázquez said the new businesses also mark a shift from pre-pandemic years, with young, Black, and Hispanic entrepreneurs leading the way and concentrating their efforts on online retail.
The hearing included testimony from new business owners and small business experts. One spoke to the ongoing challenge of access to capital, suggesting that banks expand their options for startup funding and microloans. Another advocated for equity in capital access as well as other resources such as mentorship and technical assistance.