SBA Chief Linda McMahon: Labor Shortages Squeezing Small Business Owners

By Aldo Svaldi The Denver Post

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) SBA Chief Linda McMahon McMahon was in Denver for Startup Week. She met with business owners and used the visit to promote the outlines of a new Republican tax plan that includes a lower corporate tax rate and provisions to help business owners retain more of what they make.

The Denver Post

Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon said labor shortages are rising on the list of concerns that small-business owners tell her about, alongside more traditional ones such as access to capital, regulatory burdens and containing health care costs.

"We have 6 million jobs available in this country and we don't have the workers to fill them," McMahon said after a visit Thursday to the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, which is part of her Ignite Tour to visit all 68 SBA district offices and hear from business owners in every part of the country.

McMahon also was in town to participate in Denver Startup Week. She met with business owners at Stanley and used the visit to promote the outlines of a new Republican tax plan that includes a lower corporate tax rate and provisions to help business owners retain more of what they make.

The plan, made public Wednesday, would cap the maximum rate on pass-through business income at 25 percent.

Currently, net income is taxed at the taxpayer's highest marginal rate, which can reach 39.6 percent. That is above the federal corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

McMahon and her husband, Vincent, co-founded Worldwide Wresting Entertainment, or WWE. She said she has been through bankruptcy, the struggle to find a willing lender and the full range of challenges that small-business owners face.

The SBA estimates Colorado has more than 600,000 small businesses employing nearly 1 million workers and accounting for 97 percent of enterprises in the state. The SBA guaranteed 1,996 loans in the state worth $826 million during the 2016 fiscal year.

Besides capital, the SBA provides counseling to entrepreneurs, which Caroline Glover, owner of Annette at the Stanley Marketplace, said was helpful when she launched her new scratch-to-table restaurant.

"It is great to have those resources available when you are small," she said.

McMahon said one of her goals as administrator is to make more people aware of the resources the SBA has available.

A lesser-known role the SBA plays is providing financial assistance to small businesses, renters and homeowners in the aftermath of disasters. Unlike its traditional small-business lending programs, the SBA's disaster loans are made directly to borrowers.

Responding to three major hurricanes in such a short time frame has stretched the SBA's emergency-response resources.

The SBA is outsourcing some of the work to private contractors and turning to other government agencies, such as Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, for help, said McMahon, who will join President Donald Trump on a visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

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