By Economist Daniel Wilmoth, PhD
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook 12 years ago, on February 4, 2004, while still in college. He dropped out, moved the company to Silicon Valley, and, in 2012, held an initial offering of stock to the public. Read More
The Office of Advocacy releases the Regulatory Flexibility Act report annually to inform Congress of how well agencies are complying with the RFA. The fiscal year 2015 report includes interviews with four former chief counsels for advocacy. Former Chief Counsel Frank Swain, who was in office when the RFA was enacted, said, “The RFA, because of its statutory basis, is going to be around indefinitely.” Read More
The Office of Advocacy has released a new study entitled Income and Net Worth of Veteran Business Owners over the Business Cycle, 2007–2013. In the study, the author George Haynes examines the changing financial health of veterans during the recent recession and recovery. Veterans play a pivotal role in American society, so understanding their finances is a national priority and a key to expanding opportunities for their businesses. The report finds that veteran households with small businesses tended to be wealthier than veteran households without small businesses, except between 2007 through 2013, when both groups had similar income levels.
The study can be found on Advocacy’s website here.
The Office of Advocacy has released a new issue brief entitled Peer-to-Peer Lending: A Financing Alternative for Small Businesses. Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is an alternative funding model in which individual investors provide small sums as personal loans to individuals via Internet platforms. In this brief, Research Economist Miriam Segal builds upon existing research and discusses the emerging funding option by explaining the investment model, comparing it to traditional small business financing options, and presenting implications regarding the future of peer-to-peer lending. While the brief outlines scholarly research on various sources of capital, this report also gives the research economist, the potential investor, and the small business owner, the most up-to-date information on different opportunities for accessing capital in today’s economy. The complete issue brief can be accessed on Advocacy’s website here.
The Office of Advocacy has released the Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act FY 2014. The report is a requirement of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which directs the Chief Counsel for Advocacy to monitor federal agency compliance with the RFA and report on it at least annually. This year’s report finds that the Office of Advocacy’s efforts at ensuring RFA compliance helped save small entities at least $4.8 billion in first-year regulatory costs in FY 2014, while ensuring that agencies were able to meet their regulatory goals.
The report can be found here: Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act FY 2014
And the research summary can be found here: Small Business Research Summary No. 428
The Office of Advocacy has released the Annual Report of the Office of Economic Research, FY 2014. In fiscal year 2014, Advocacy produced 23 contract and internal research reports on a variety of topics including access to capital, employment, environment, minority-and women-owned businesses, procurement, retirement, taxation and veterans. This annual report provides details about and a link to each of OER’s publications from FY 2014. The full report can be found on Advocacy’s website here.
The Office of Advocacy released its annual report on small business lending. Small Business Lending in the United States, 2013 describes trends in the small business lending market in general. It also provides data on more than 6,000 U.S. lenders, showing the emphasis on small business lending in their portfolios.
The report covers the time period June 2012 to June 2013 using Call Report data from the FDIC, and supplements this with Community Reinvestment Act data from 2012. During this period, small business lending improved, but at a slower pace than large business lending. Soon afterward, small business lending entered positive territory. A data update is provided to cover these trends, extending into the first quarter of 2014.
The report and research summary are available on Advocacy’s webpage at https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/small-business-lending-united-states-2013.
The Office of Advocacy released its Small Business Quarterly Bulletin for First Quarter 2014. This two-page publication includes charts and tables of economic variables to show the status of small business. This latest quarterly bulletin shows positive indicators for small businesses. The bulletin includes data about establishment birth and death rates, proprietors’ income, employment change by size of firm, labor turnover and self-employment.
The Small Business Quarterly Bulletin for First Quarter 2014 can be accessed on Advocacy’s web site here.
A new report released by the Office of Advocacy examines the decline of the self-employment rate among baby boomers nearing retirement. Authored by Bradley T. Helm, the report entitled “Understanding Self-Employment Dynamics Among Individuals Nearing Retirement” explores the reasons behind why the self-employment rate (the proportion of the labor force that is self-employed) among individuals aged 55-64 has dropped substantially in the past 20 years.
“America’s baby boomers may not be the jumping-off point for entrepreneurial growth according to this report. However, moving forward, we can inspire this population to start the business of their dreams and take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy.
According to the report, the self-employment rate among near-retirees was above 18 percent in 1994, but dropped to around 16 percent in the early 2000s, and dropped further to 14.3 percent in 2012.
The study addresses two questions about the decline. First, what is the defining factor causing the decreasing rate of self-employed individuals nearing retirement? And second, what economic and policy variables help to explain the change in these factors over time? This study utilizes almost 20 years of U.S. Census Bureau data to describe in greater detail the continuation, exit, and entry rates with respect to self-employment.
The study’s key findings show that the decline in the self-employment among baby boomers over the 1994-2012 period was driven by factors such as:
In addition, the study finds that other factors, such as the affordability of individual health insurance, play a role. The author suggests that especially during a recession, individuals are hesitant to leave jobs that provide health insurance.
The author concludes that the findings indicate a need for policies to reduce the exits of near-retirees from self-employment to private wage and salary employment and to increase entrepreneurship among younger individuals. Policy recommendations include increasing the availability and affordability of private health insurance. The author states that an important area for future research will be to evaluate the extent to which recent changes due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 affect rates of self-employment.
The full report, “Understanding Self-Employment Dynamics Among Individuals Nearing Retirement,” as well as a summary, can be viewed on the Office of Advocacy’s website.