KCMO City Councilman Taylor Speaks at DNC Convention in Philadelphia
In recognition of his work with small businesses over the last five years in Kansas City, MO, Councilman Scott Taylor spoke at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday at noon at the Philadelphia Convention Center for the Small Business Owners Council session.
Councilman Taylor stated that “It is an honor to be invited to speak with a group from around the United States about the steps we have taken to help small businesses in Kansas City. I have been asked to focus especially on our innovative small business microloan program that has been one of the most successful in the United States.”
Others speakers who joined Councilman Taylor included Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Ranking Member, Committee on Small Business, and great small business owner Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Taylor added, “It will be an honor to speak with Jerry Greenfield. I am sure the question everybody will have in mind is whether there will be free samples of Ben & Jerry’s.”
Taylor was the lead speaker on Wednesday.
Taylor also spoke on Monday joined by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Andrew Lachman to kickoff the Small Business Owners Council at the DNC Convention. Lachman and Councilman Taylor are officers of the Small Business Owners Council which was formed to help better highlight small business initiatives and give a stronger voice to small business issues within the Democratic Party. Taylor also spoke at the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte at the Small Business Owners Council.
The Kansas City, MO, Small Business Microloan Program has now loaned out $2.8 million since it started a few years ago as a result of 17 Small Business Committee hearings chaired by Councilman Taylor. Many of these hearings were held in small businesses outside of City Hall and at night to make it easier for small business owners to testify. The number one issue facing small business is a lack of access to capital.
The KC microloan program is structured to be more flexible than traditional banks so that small loans averaging $8,000 can be loaned out to many who are seeking their first business loan. It is more flexible and allows for home based businesses to start before they move into a physical storefront. The program was set up to address lack of access to capital to those who are traditionally underserved. About 70% of the loans are going to minority owned businesses; 61% of the loans are going to woman owned businesses, and 56% of the loans are going to businesses East of Troost which have traditionally had a more difficult time securing loans.
The program has components for targeting tracts of Kansas City where there is a need such as on the East Side, West Side and Southeast Kansas City. It also has components specifically for Veterans who many times do not have a financial track record because they have been serving our country overseas.
The program has been a collaboration by the City of Kansas City, Missouri with the Small Business Administration of the Obama Administration, Justine Petersen (largest microlender in U.S.) and the Women’s Employment Network.
The DNC Small Business Owners Council (SBOC) was formed at the beginning of 2012 with the mission of promoting the accomplishments of the President and the Democratic Party within the broader small business community. The SBOC is organizing small business leaders from various constituencies to highlight the direct, tangible, and measurable effects of the Obama Administration small business tax cuts and credits for the business community. This tradition continues as we explore and discuss what beneficial policies will be pursued under the Administration of Hillary Clinton at this year’s convention.
This will be the second DNC SBOC meeting in the history of the Democratic National Convention.