Cities and states around the country are considering raising their minimum wage levels, and one of the biggest sticking points in this debate has been the impact of a higher minimum wage on small businesses. Opponents of a higher wage argue that raising the minimum wage would harm small businesses. The reality, though, is that the majority of small businesses actually support a higher minimum wage. In fact, Small Business Majority just polled a random sample of small business owners around the country and found broad support for raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour.
The June 30 news article “Conservatives win on Export-Import Bank. Will it last?” outlines the politics surrounding the expiration of the Export-Import Bank’s charter but failed to note the effect this will have on small businesses. Once the charter expired at midnight June 30, the bank could no longer provide new loans or make new transactions through its credit insurance program. This is devastating to small exporters and entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses to international markets.
The Export-Import Bank provides an important resource to small businesses by filling in the gaps in traditional financing and partnering with private-sector lenders to provide loans and credit that help foreign purchasers buy U.S.-made goods. The bank also offers credit insurance to cover nonpayment from foreign buyers.
Many small businesses rely on the bank. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the Export-Import Bank’s transactions in 2014 helped U.S. small businesses.
Ninety-eight percent of the United States’ almost 300,000 exporters are small and medium-size businesses. Lawmakers should reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter now to ensure that our nation’s small exporters have the tools they need to thrive.