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Trump looks to cut funding to Small Business Administration, Lakewood businesses concerned

By James Gherardi
ABC News 5 Cleveland
March 28, 2017

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - The Trump administration is looking to cut more than $43 million in funding to the Small Business Administration.

Among the programs being eliminated include grants for entrepreneurs, resources to help startup companies and the entire Minority Business Development Agency; all are resources that helped spots like The Root Café and Tease Hair parlor in Lakewood succeed.

“It’s very challenging to do that if you don’t have the support of someone bigger,” said Emily Bobbitt, an employee at Tease Hair and Body Parlor.

“There should be support from the federal government for organizations like the SBA because they need to be there in order to provide resources for small businesses and if anything we should be strengthening them and not taking money away,” said Julie Hutchison, Owner of The Root Café.

“If you want to create jobs you got to do it with small businesses,” said Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League.

Chapman’s concerned that the President, who ran on the promise of creating jobs, will inadvertently stunt job growth with budget cuts to the SBA.

“The number one issue to voters is jobs and the economy and the US Census Bureau data shows that small businesses create over 98 percent of all net new jobs. The Small Business Administration is the only agency in government to help those small businesses,” he said.

Lakewood has a high concentration of small businesses. In reaction to the cuts, Ian Andrews, Executive Director of Lakewood Alive provided this statement:

“Lakewood is a community of entrepreneurs and small businesses. These folks have put everything on the line to open the restaurant or store or firm of their dreams and the support of the Small Business Administration has helped many of them to make their dream a reality. We urge our elected officials to support the work of the Small Business Administration and safeguard the programs that have supported businesses like Melt Bar & Grilled to bring an incredible business idea to fruition in Lakewood in 2006, now with multiple locations across the state.”

“Small businesses, not only are they giving service to the entire city, but they’re employing and giving a life to the people that are working for them,” said Hutchinson.

The Trump administration says they’re making cuts to programs they consider redundant, or would be better provided by the private sector.

Congress will vote on the budget proposal likely sometime next month.

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