By Jamal Thomas
Montgomery, AL- (June 26, 2018) On yesterday afternoon, small business owners had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Advocate for Region 4 Bruce LeVell. The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce hosted the meeting at the Small Business Resource Center.
LeVell visited Montgomery as part of a Listening Tour to gather feedback from the local business community on what federal regulations hurt them the most. Regulations on taxes, healthcare, procurement, and accessing capital make it very challenging for small businesses to operate and sustain. Information from the Listening Tour will used in Washington D.C. to develop a Comprehensive Plan to cut bad regulations for small businesses.
Healthcare regulations appeared to be a main concern for those in attendance. Many small businesses are losing talent because they can’t compete with companies who offer benefits. The costs of healthcare is making it harder for some small businesses to stay afloat.
Another common issue was accessing capital. Some small businesses find it challenging to get approved for small business loans.
One small business owner expressed that there were too many grey areas with the new tax law. Another said that the information on the website was too cumbersome. In regards to rural communities, some felt there is a lack of resources, capital, and equity.
Local bankers were also invited to get feedback from small business owners. River Bank and Trust Executive Vice President Gene Crane said he was impressed with Listening Tour. “The Small Business Administration on the Washington level were able to hear first hand from bankers, small businesses, and the community. It was a very open dialogue.”
LeVell was appointed by President Trump to serve as the Advocate for Region 4. The states in this region are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
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