The Biden administration has revealed new measures aimed at bolstering support for small businesses, particularly emphasizing assistance to underserved and rural businesses. In a series of announcements on social media, the administration outlined three key actions, including a $50 million investment from American Rescue Plan funds in over 10,000 small businesses, the issuance of $50 billion in small business loans with a focus on underserved businesses, and a commitment to strengthening partnerships for rural business support. The initiatives were presented as part of the administration’s celebration of “Small Business Saturday.” President Biden highlighted the role of small businesses in community cohesion and urged people to shop locally, while Vice President Harris emphasized the success of small businesses as crucial for national prosperity. The administration also noted a record number of applications to start businesses under its tenure and highlighted the fastest growth in Black business ownership in over 30 years. The move follows a previous announcement by Vice President Harris in August about a $125 million investment to aid small businesses in underserved communities.
Source: The Hill
Amidst a backdrop of significant GDP growth, a robust labor market, and declining inflation and gas prices across the nation, President Joe Biden faces a challenge in garnering support, particularly among small business owners. According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, Biden’s approval among small business owners has reached a new low, with a net approval rating of 30, down 13% from the first quarter of 2021. The survey, conducted between November 16-21, indicates a disconnect between positive economic indicators and public perception. While small business confidence has rebounded, political partisanship strongly influences opinions, with only 7% of Republicans expressing a positive view of Biden. Key concerns include inflation and interest rates, impacting businesses’ access to credit and confidence in the economic outlook. Despite overall economic optimism, the survey reveals a prevailing skepticism among small business owners, highlighting the nuanced challenges in selling the “Bidenomics” message to this demographic.
Alexander Sukharevsky, senior partner and global leader of McKinsey-owned AI firm QuantumBlack, spoke at the Fortune Global Forum in Abu Dhabi, emphasizing that generative AI is more than just a trend and marks a significant platform shift in the last 15 years. He argued that generative AI, exemplified by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, reduces the cost of production by a factor of 1,000, likening it to the impact of the internet on distribution. While acknowledging the potential for job automation, Sukharevsky suggested that leaders should assess the impact role by role, asserting that 70% of current tasks could be automated, with a prediction of 50% automation within 20 years. Contrary to concerns about job loss, he proposed that generative AI would usher in an age of creativity by eliminating routine tasks, allowing individuals to focus on their real talents and fostering a collaborative relationship between AI and human workers. QuantumBlack, with 5,000 employees across 50 countries, aims to harness the power of hybrid intelligence, where AI complements human abilities rather than replacing them entirely.
Source: Yahoo! Finance