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Empowering America’s Small Business Recovery

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the American small business community has been felt in every sector and geographic location throughout the country. Throughout it all, entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and resilience continue to lie at the heart of our nation’s economy.


Keith Hall

Certified Public Accountant, President and CEO, National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

Small businesses have learned to adapt to doing business in new ways, and despite the difficulties faced by small business owners during this two-year-long pandemic, a record number of Americans have taken the leap to form a small business and become their own boss

As the nation’s leading advocate and resource for America’s smallest businesses, we have focused on the recovery — and empowerment — of the growing small business demographic. The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is dedicated to the success of American entrepreneurship by ensuring small businesses have the necessary resources and benefits, combined with a robust advocacy effort, to survive.   

We give a voice and real-world support to our nation’s smallest businesses, focusing on the self-employed and those with fewer than 10 employees. From advocating for tax equity and fairness, to affordable healthcare and improved retirement options, we were on the front lines of ensuring the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) worked for all small businesses. We also called on Congress for a larger loan forgiveness program, and for finding long-term, creative ways to support the small business community.

Tough road

It’s no secret the small business community was devastated by the novel coronavirus, illustrated by our small business survey which found that 62 percent of our members experienced a loss in revenue and 52 percent either had to close or partially close their business for extended periods during the pandemic. 

Our members also faced the brunt of this mostly on their own, with 68 percent reporting that the federal government did not originally “provide adequate financial support for the small business community through the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),” and 74 percent of respondents receiving no financial support through the first round of PPP funding.

Our survey also revealed an overwhelming 88 percent were supportive of the federal government passing additional stimulus relief for small businesses, including additional PPP loans. Recovery for the American small business community continues to be desperately needed, evidenced by the response from our membership and millions of small businesses around the country. 

Resources and benefits

We first created a COVID-19 pandemic resource hub at the start of the pandemic for both our members and all of our nation’s smallest businesses. The portal, which was applauded as a leading resource center, included information from PPP application deadlines to legislative actions in Washington, D.C. Our website also remains available with a host of free resources and tools for the small business community. 

We have boosted our member benefit services, particularly the Ask the Expert series and Growth Grant program, a leading effort to directly fund small business growth and expansion recognized by experts

We understand recovery doesn’t come exclusively from the government; it is also a partnership with industry. Therefore, we were proud to expand our Growth Grant program of up to $4,000 financial awards each month by partnering with DELL Small Business, an important sponsor of the program. 

With a slew of new loan opportunities prompting confusion about requirements and deadlines during tax season, we communicated through the media to update the small business community about tax code changes, including loan forgiveness terms of the PPP loans. As the Internal Revenue Service released updates about tax filings, we have ensured the community knew the rules of the road.

A small business advocate

While passing the COVID relief bill earlier this year was a critical first step in supporting the recovery of the small business community, it was clear we had to keep our attention on ensuring the PPP was fair and equal for businesses both big and small.  

We advocated before Congress and the Administration to make the PPP fair for the entire business community, including those in the gig economy. We were pleased when the Administration announced changes to the original PPP that made it easier for small businesses to access funding and made its distribution more equitable, which was welcomed by millions who would qualify for the first time during the second draw of the program. 

We both supported the new forgiveness calculations and the exclusive lending period, which was embraced by many small businesses locked out of the original program’s funds. And we have made it a priority to make it easier for those in the gig-economy — Uber and Lyft drivers, and others — to participate in the government program for the first time. 

Throughout my career advocating for the small business community, I have never seen such enthusiasm. The pandemic unequally impacted small businesses, but it also revealed a plethora of resources and support from organizations like us at the NASE, the IRS, and the SBA. Bookmark and return often to them for updates and additional helpful resources. 

America’s small business community — including the mom-and-pop shops along Main Street to those in the gig economy — is the lifeblood of our nation’s economic engine. Small businesses represent the true entrepreneurial spirit of American ingenuity, and they need our support now more than ever. 

We continue to advocate strongly for this community’s recovery to ensure the sign on the door continues to read “Open for Business.” 

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