Dear President Obama and incoming Congressional leaders,
I hear you have your differences. You’re frustrated with the state of the American economy and you’re divided over how to fix it. So are we.
Stimulus, tax breaks, tax increases, regulations, deregulation…
Trying to fix the economy is a no-win situation. Someone is going to get angry. Someone is going to get hurt.
But what you still seem to be ignoring is that the fundamentals of our economy – our entire global system – are changing. There is a great shift towards a new mode of commerce, employment, and self-actualization.
Enter the microbusiness owner.
While the unemployment rate floats around a sobering 9.6% and underemployment forces families to the edge of a precipice, a new force is emerging in the battle for our economic peace of mind.
Microbusiness owners are different than traditionally self-employed individuals. They have different needs than small business owners. And they don’t even see big business as competition.
Microbusiness owners are a class in and of themselves and deserve to be treated as such.
Every skilled, motivated, or otherwise passionate unemployed person is a potential microbusiness owner.
These are people who can create jobs – their own & others. They are fueled by passion and driven by the need to succeed. They are savvy consumers, buying better not more, funneling money into their local communities, spreading wealth to other entrepreneurs. They are artists & craftspeople returning to the roots of American manufacturing. They are service providers helping others achieve a higher standard of living while fulfilling their own dreams. They are the moms & pops but also the new college graduates, the frustrated MBA students, and the brothers & sisters working out of their childhood bedrooms.
Microbusiness owners have the power to help reconstruct a more sustainable economic landscape for the 21st century. They will provide unparalleled economic diversification. They will enjoy their own financial sovereignty.
They’re already doing it. Now, they need your help.
If the left wants to help individuals and the right wants to help business, I see no greater point for agreement than the aid of microbusiness owners who are both.
To prosper in the new economy, microbusiness owners need access to lending. Create policies that allow financial institutions to take them seriously and understand that they will work hard to repay loans. Create a system where microlending can thrive.
They need a tax code that understands their unique situation instead of lumping them with Fortune 500 corporations or individual income taxes. Create incentives that both support families and encourage growth.
Microbusiness owners need training. Of all sorts. Computer classes, small business classes, art courses, industry conferences, public relations training. Training gives confidence, confidence leads to success. Sure up the training that is already available and build a virtual infrastructure that allows online training to become even more viable.
Finally, microbusiness owners need incentives for creative coworking. This will be a generation of workers that is solitary, wears pajamas until noon, and works from home offices or is location independent. Creative coworking – in cities, suburbs, and rural communities – means that business owners can thrive with like-minded people, learn from each other, and reap the benefits of the collective movement. Turn abandoned buildings, downsized government offices, and new construction projects into opportunities for microbusiness growth.
In short, turn America into the great microbusiness incubator. Give us the opportunity to turn this mess around.
Don’t underestimate the power of the microbusiness owner. We don’t underestimate ourselves.