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Congressman Marsha Blackburn

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Congressman Marsha Blackburn represents the 7th District of Tennessee. Recently, she spoke at Facebook’s women-focused Boost Your Business event in Franklin. Congressman Blackburn was the first woman to sell books door-to-door for Southwestern and she had her own marketing company before she became involved in local politics. We asked her some questions regarding today’s small business climate.

1. What do you see as the biggest challenge for small business owners these days?

Access to capital is a challenge that’s prevalent with small business owners. Understanding the virtual marketplace and the potential for expanding their customer base is also a challenge to many.

2. What do you feel is the best way to tackle this issue?

Encourage small business owners to think outside the box and look at access to nontraditional funding sources such as crowd funding or angel investors.

Engagement on social media and virtual marketing can do wonders for small businesses looking to expand their customer base. Recently we’ve seen organizations like Facebook and Google come work in our communities to help our small business owners get online. Small business owners need to make sure they are tapping into these resources.

3. With your experience as an entrepreneur, what advice do you have for budding small business owners, specifically women who hope to run a successful small business.

Work like your life depends on it, believe in yourself and keep a can-do attitude.

 

4. The complexity of tax code is cited as a huge headache for small business owners; about 60 percent say they spend more than 40 hours a year dealing with federal taxes. What is your take on this issue?

Compliance and regulation both prohibit businesses from opening their doors and force many new startups to shut down.

 

5. A study by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, says that 63 percent of small businesses find it difficult to get loans. What advice do you have to small business owners on how to get the funds to operate their business and/or do you feel that something should change so it’s easier for small business owners to obtain loans?

Removing much of the Dodd-Frank regulatory structure and closing the CFPB is a good starting point. We need to keep government out of the way of small business. Small businesses are the engine that power our economy – we need to make sure they have access to the capital they need to expand, grow and thrive.

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Why does the federal definition of small business include such a wide range of businesses when it’s clear that the smallest of businesses face many problems that the biggest businesses in the category don’t face?

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