Winslow Sargeant, the Small Business Administration’s chief counsel of advocacy, stopped in Newark this morning as part of his tour of cities to hear concerns and solutions from small-business owners.
“With regard to the metro region, I continue to see consistent themes in access to capital,” Sargeant said. “Getting access to capital is a number-one priority right now.”
Sargeant said access is restricted not only in terms of loans from banks, but also in terms of payment from other companies for completed work.
“Some of their clients are having difficulty. What has gone (from) net 30 days has gone as far as net 160 days, so they are not getting paid for the work they have done — which has created a huge problem for many of these small businesses,” he said. “A rising tide lifts all boats, but a sinking tide also has a negative effect on all communities.”
Sargeant also said federal budget decisions have become a concern for the small-business community.
“The lone bright spot has been federal government, in terms of the procurement side; the concern is, if our government gets out of procurement, then small businesses are very uncertain of who’s going to pick up the demand,” Sargeant said.
The issues and solutions Sargeant hears while on his tour will be vetted by his team at the Office of Advocacy and 10 regional advocates, then presented to politicians and decision makers who can “ease the burden” on small-business owners.