Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Urges Congress To Prioritize Small Businesses In Policy Making

“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary has called on Congress to prioritize small businesses in policy-making and provide better access to government programs.

What Happened: O’Leary made these remarks during a hearing at the House Small Business Committee on Thursday, reported Inc. The hearing was focused on capital access for small businesses.

“If small businesses in America are responsible for 60 percent of domestic jobs, why aren’t these acts written to spend 60 cents of every dollar on them?”  

O’Leary, who is the chairman of his private equity and venture investment firm, O’Leary Ventures, highlighted that small businesses are often unaware of their eligibility for federal programs under laws enacted by the Biden administration, such as the Inflation Reduction Act and the Chips and Science Act.

He argued that small businesses lack the resources to understand and apply for these programs, and suggested that new laws should allocate a proportionate amount of resources to small businesses, given their significant contribution to domestic jobs.

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O’Leary recommended the establishment of a bipartisan council to ensure that small businesses are considered when new programs and policies are being drafted.

He also emphasized the need to interpret existing acts in a way that allows capital to flow to small businesses. O’Leary pointed out that the current laws, such as the IRA and Chips Act, seem to favor large companies, leaving small businesses struggling to access the allocated funds. “It looks to the market like the IRA and Chips Act were written specifically for S&P 500 companies that have no trouble accessing capital yet only create 40 percent of jobs, many of these in foreign subsidiaries.”

Why It Matters: O’Leary’s call for greater support for small businesses comes in the wake of his previous comments on the challenges of wealth-building. In a June video, he emphasized the difficulty of making the first million dollars, stressing the importance of frugality and smart investing.

Despite these challenges, O’Leary has remained optimistic about the U.S. economy, as seen in his comments in December. He attributed the impressive stock performance to high profits, expressing a positive outlook amid an exciting earnings season.

Furthermore, O’Leary has been advocating for immediate stock investments, warning against waiting for a decrease in interest rates. His recent call for greater small business support aligns with his ongoing efforts to promote a robust and inclusive economy.

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