The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that discusses the outdated notion of “small business” in the U.S. The disconnect between small business policies and small business realities is making it so the benefits that were engineered specifically for “small businesses” don’t reach a large majority of the small business population. Here are some of the highlights from the article.

Outdated Programs Don’t Help Modern Startups
The Small Business Administration was created in 1953, a time when dynamic startups (such as Facebook) did not exist. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the boom of software and internet-based startups changed the small business landscape. Because the SBA did not contemplate this changing landscape, many of its programs are not tailored to meet…

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Recent data shows that the software industry accounted for more than one quarter, or $3.3 billion, of the investments (nearly $12.5 billion) made in the 1,046 funding deals during the third quarter in the U.S. According to Digimind, a competitive intelligence software firm, and data released by WhoGotFunded.com, the industrial and energy sectors came in second, receiving $1.9 billion, with an average of $16 million per deal.

Healthcare companies attracted $398 million across 54 deals, accounting for only three percent of the total investments. Consumer product and services companies raised $1.2 billion, which indicates investor confidence in the sector despite the slow (often stagnant) economic recovery.

These third quarter numbers are promising, as the data suggests that both investors and consumers are gaining…

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The Kaiser Family Foundation released their annual study of employer-sponsored health insurance, and the news for small businesses isn’t good. Costs are continuing to go up while the number of companies offering insurance to their employees is not. Across the board, premiums for family coverage rose only 4% over the last year; however, for small businesses (less than 200 employees) that number is nearly double. For individual coverage, small business premiums increased 5%, higher than the average increase among all employers.

The study noted that small businesses are migrating to the cheapest plans—leaving employees strapped with high deductibles. Since 2006, the number of small businesses acquiring high-deductible, cheap plans for their employees has grown to nearly a quarter of all small-business…

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While the U.S. economy continues its slow, volatile climb out of the current recession, small business lending jumped to its highest level of 2012 in May. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose almost 10 points from April to May. The index measures overall volume of small business financing, taking real-time loan information from more than 250 leading U.S. lenders.

The latest rise is just about enough to compensate for the steady decline over the prior four months. Analysts are noting low interest rates and stronger corporate balance sheets as the likely cause for the credit increases. Bill Phelan, PayNet founder, believes the strong data in small business lending may suggest that small business will avoid the coming economic storm…

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