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Small Businesses Overwhelmingly Support Financial Reform, CFPB

Michael Lipsky

Owners of small businesses want Wall Street and the large American banks to be held accountable for the lingering financial crisis. They believe that stronger regulations governing these institutions should be enacted and enforced. 

According to the polling of Small Business Majority, described in a recent piece published on the Huffington Post, 84 percent of small business owners support a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  In a population that tends to align with the Republican party, seven out of ten Republican owners of small businesses believe in tougher regulations for Wall Street.

To those who follow these matters, the SBM poll once again contradicts the assertions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which promotes the interests of the largest companies by saying that the Chamber acts in the interest of small business. Consider that the Chamber’s website lists as its first two bullet points on “regulatory reform” the costs of regulation to small businesses. 

The SBM poll sheds a new light on why small business owners would want a strong regulatory regime in the financial sector: small businesses are the customers of the banks. They depend on loans, lines of credit, mortgages and other ways to access capital. It is no wonder that small business owners want clearer and simpler credit documents. This applies to personal credit cards as well as business cards, since many small business owners use personal cards for business purposes. 

The iconic small business owner is deeply respected in the American imagination. For too long he and she have been claimed as allies by the very biggest American corporations. No doubt the Chamber of Commerce will continue to say that it is representing the interests of small business. Increasingly, groups like Small Business Majority are helping us understand why this isn’t true.