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With the federal government back in business, a couple of House committee hearings are on our radar screen for the week ahead. Financial Services examines challenges to capital formation while Energy & Commerce review the evolution of wired communications networks. Currently there aren't any hearings scheduled on the Senate side--but the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has an archived webcast of a hearing last week featuring small business owners on the impact of the government shutdown.
Each day, Innovation Daily checks the pulse of global innovation--courtesy of Innovation America. Here, we take a look at a handful of relevant stories it compiled last week.
Why schedule hearings when the federal government is shutdown and facing default? No Congressional committees have scheduled relevant hearings for the week ahead. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the October 17 default deadline which would be more than a blip on the global economic radar.
Last week, we mentioned some of the negative impacts of the government shutdown on small business owners and entrepreneurs. The most recent Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Businesses says that while the September figures might be too early to really measure the full impact of the shutdown, the economic outlook is definitely depressed.
While the number of programs aimed at encouraging more entrepreneurship has increased rapidly, research has not kept pace. A new effort announced last Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aims to help fill that void. The Global Entrepreneurship Research Network was founded by the Kauffman Foundation, World Bank and Endeavor Insight to standardize data and work to gain a better understanding of policy barriers and what the right policies are for fostering entrepreneurship.
Look around and you will find a number of articles on the effects of the political stalemate / government shutdown on entrepreneurs. For “small businesses”, the effects are quite clear, mostly relating to government contracts (more than half the federal spending would go through federal contracts before the shutdown) and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. In addition, with 62% of the SBA’s staff furloughed, all counseling is on hold until the government is back up and running. The suspension of these contracts, loans and services represents an immediate “brake” on the economy.
One week after the government shutdown began, the finger-pointing continues while a new deadline looms even larger—10 more days until a potential U.S. government default. While many are still calling it "extremely unlikely" there seems to be consensus in that it would be "a catastrophe." Meanwhile, many of the Congressional hearings were cancelled or postponed last week and the handful scheduled for this week look to be more focused on the blame game than anything else. Like last week, the following hearings may be postponed—so be sure to check the committee websites for last-minute updates.
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