Small Business Agenda:
While the technical definition of a ‘small business’ means 500 employees or less, most of the small business owners I know have less than 30 employees. That means they don’t have the same ‘back-of-the-house’ resources — including human resources, accounting, legal and procurement — that big businesses have in-house.
Let’s make sure Michigan’s small businesses get their fair share of the state’s economic development efforts by taking the following steps:
- Make small business a top priority in state government by establishing a cabinet-level small business advisor in the governor’s office.
- Pursue the People’s Price Tag Legislation, which would expand Michigan’s fiscal notes to reflect the actual impact (i.e., cost) of legislation on businesses and individuals. It also would acknowledge and identify the mandated costs to local governments that the state is obligated to pay for.
- Encourage and help small businesses get access to local, state and federal government contracts as well as bidding opportunities.
- Emphasize economic ‘gardening’ (i.e., nurturing our existing small businesses to help them grow and flourish) without missing reasonable opportunities to encourage job attraction and retention.
- Make health — including mental health — as affordable, accessible and convenient as possible for small businesses and their employees.
- Close the talent gap, especially for small businesses that don’t have the internal resources to recruit and train employees. Even Michigan’s largest employers are struggling to find talent, and small business owners feel the crunch big-time. Let’s help reduce barriers like transportation and childcare (i.e., costs and access).
- Encourage public-private partnerships to identify and address regional changes.
- Don’t recreate the wheel: support the Michigan Marshall Plan for Talent.