Archives: Seasons 1-5

Free Money? No, But Maybe The Next Best Thing

Reporters covering the presidential campaign didn't pay much attention to issues and solutions on which President Obama and Mitt Romney agreed -- stories about conflict are more fun (for the reporter, anyway). But if you're looking for an idea both candidates endorse wholeheartedly, look no further than the conventional wisdom that this country's economy is powered by small business.

And it isn't just White House occupants and aspirants who share this "as American as apple pie" view of small business. You'd probably expect the Small Business Administration to buy in, since it's the federal agency with a mission to make loans to small businesses. But you might be surprised that small business boosterism extends beyond America's borders, thanks to U.S. embassies around the world. Back here at home, the government has lots of company in its veneration of Mom & Pop shops. Both major advocacy organizations for small business, the National Small Business Association and the National Federation of Independent Business endorse the notion that small business drives the economy. So does a significant portion of big media. Small business is big business for many colleges and universities. Even big business loves small business (in public, at least).

That the conventional wisdom might be beside the point, flat-out wrong or even dangerous gains no traction in an America as besotted in 2012 with the idea of small business as it was in 1980 with the idea of the "family farm."

But on tonight's "SoCal Connected," we set politics and preconceived notions aside in favor of cash — lots of it — for small businesses, delivered courtesy of a concept that was road-tested in some of the world's most cash-strapped countries. The idea is working — and putting people to work — right here in SoCal. Jennifer London has our report.


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