Though the Merchant Advance team generally strives not to be overly political – least of all here on the blog – we can’t help but take notice of leaders with an appreciation for the small business marketplace and its valuable role as a binding agent for the economic and social fabric of nations.
It was a welcome development when none other than 2016 American Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stepped up to the plate in recent days to proclaim her affinity for small businesses. “I want to be the small business President,” she said yesterday at a town-hall gathering in a New Hampshire craft brewery. She has recently spoken at breweries, bike shops, ice cream parlours and other American small businesses, even turning over the keys to her own Twitter account to New Hampshire entrepreneur Mary Jo Brown for 24 hours last week, in a display of social-media outreach and common-people campaign savvy.
Clinton has even taken to LinkedIn in recent days (amassing close to forty thousand followers) to publish a four-pronged strategy for American small business development. The full text of Clinton’s policy statement can be read at this link. Its four key tenets are reduction of regulatory red tape, improvements to taxation policies for small business owners, opening access to new (and especially e-commerce) markets, and perhaps most intriguingly for this blog, improving facilities for small business access to capital.
To be honest, some of these polices (and the campaign moves that accompany them) rank on the fairly innocuous side. As a campaign strategy, showing support for small business is unlikely to cause Hillary Clinton much, if any, opposition or controversy. However, her message is still resonant. By highlighting the importance of access to capital for small business owners – as well as engaging with those owners in digital and social spaces that stress the importance of personal connection – Clinton shows her understanding of the particular needs of a new generation of entrepreneurs whose paths to stability and success are increasingly becoming more diverse.