With much ballyhoo, the president toured Ohio last winter touting a new small business and jobs creation program, the "Start up America" initiative.
How's that working out, Barry?
"Everything is moving too slowly," said Leach, chief executive of Cleveland-based JumpStart, a regional accelerator focused on business development. "We need to make progress."
Any policy-making ideas spurred by the initiative, which subsequently visited eight cities to gather ideas from small business owners, are hamstrung by "gridlock" in Congress, said Leach. Meanwhile, the Startup America Partnership, an independent alliance designed to work with government by garnering support from the private sector, has been understaffed and slow to move, only in late August naming its full board, he said.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, which runs the Startup America program, defends the progress to date. On September 6, the SBA unveiled a 15-page report (1.usa.gov/ogDks8) based on feedback from the roundtable discussions held between March and May. It identified obstacles and solutions around five consistent themes: workforce, access to capital, ideas, customers and more customer-focused government.
"Critically important for us was not to just say here are some things we can do, but let's make sure we're getting out, listening to entrepreneurs to hear what barriers they're facing, and what the concrete ideas are to tackle them," said Sean Greene, the SBA's associate administrator for investment and special advisor for innovation, adding that goals were on track. "We're taking action."
Note the typical bureaucratic mind that equates writing a report with "action."
Government has no incentive to hurry. Hence, it took 6 months to just name the board of directors for an independent alliance that would implement policy. And there is no policy - not because of gridlock but because the Obama administration hasn't proposed anything for Congress to vote on.
If you need an Exhibit A to prove Obama incompetence, this is it.