What Trump and Biden Plan for Small Businesses

WSJ What's News


As election day quickly approaches, we want return to our ongoing election series. We're taking a deep look at how president trump and Democratic presidential nominee joe. Biden. Differ on major policy issues. Today, we're going to focus on small business. The pandemic has been especially challenging for them. Thousands of firms have already been forced to close joining us now for a look. At. What the candidates say they will do is Journal, Economics reporter Amira Imo Kway High Mira Hi thanks for having me. So both candidates acknowledged some strength with the paycheck protection program. But there are some distinct differences as far as involvement and approach. Let's first start with President Trump yes. So the main thing president trump has done is he's encouraged Congress to. Come together with the administration and reopen the paycheck protection program that program expired in August and so small businesses have not been able to apply for it since then so president trump has signaled his support for reopening the paycheck protection program with about one hundred, thirty, five, billion dollars in funding that was roughly the amount in unused funds that was left when. The program closed and what about Joe? Biden's view. So former Vice President Biden has really emphasized what his campaign characterizes as shortcomings in the paycheck protection program and his platform calls for overhauling the program and doing things like including more oversight of the program and also a provision that would make it so that businesses with fifty employees or fewer would be guaranteed. Funding through the program if they are eligible for it, and some of the experts I spoke with said that that provision would be really important because when the paycheck protection program I opened a lot of businesses were initially unable to access the funds because the first round of funding quickly ran out small businesses whether they are in a pandemic or not. Always. Face challenges when particular difficulty can be getting assistance even though there are programs available. What is Joe Biden? Vision as far as accessibility is concerned so Joe Biden's platform proposes something that his campaign calls the Small Business Opportunity Fund. So this is a fun that would receive thirty billion dollars in federal funding initially, and it would make investments it do things like. Direct. Ten billion dollars to state and local programs that provide the sort of venture capital that businesses need to start and businesses need to grow and the trump. The trump platform on this trump platform or pitch has really been sort of highlighting things that have been popular during his first term. So for instance, he has talked about tax cuts and his administration. Implemented a tax deduction that lowers income tax bills for many small businesses. His campaign has also focused on sort of the regulatory approach that the trump administration has taken and some small business advocates say that that deregulatory approach has really helped small businesses given them less burdensome regulations to work with and basically taking away some uncertainty and that has has benefited them. Within small businesses I WANNA. Focus on minority owned small businesses. This election is happening as the nation has an ongoing conversation about racial equality. What is the White House of you as far as specifically helping minority owned small businesses. Well what's really interesting is that this area is one where the trump campaign in the binding campaigns actually a common ground I think both campaigns have acknowledged that for instance, there are concerns that minority owned small businesses had trouble accessing the paycheck protection program or that minorities tend to have more hurdles to overcome when they want to start businesses because minority households tend to have less access to. The kind of wealth that they used to finance small startups, and so the trump campaign has proposed what it's calling its platinum plan for Black America and in that plan the the campaign is proposing, for instance, giving more funding to these kinds of lenders called Community Development Financial Institutions. These are financial institutions that focus on lending and other financing to minority communities, rural communities, and other underserved communities. And some specifics of Abidin plan. So Mr Biden proposes using that Small Business Opportunity Fund that we talked about earlier to, for instance, expand lending through state local and other programs that have had a successful track record of providing lending to minority owned businesses, and his plan also calls for expanding lending through those community development financial institutions that we talked about.

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