There was a line in President Obama’s jobs speech last night that probably went unnoticed by the vast majority of his audience — but which was of particular interest to us here at the Washington Monthly. This was the line:
“My administration can and will take some steps to improve our competitiveness on our own. For example, if you’re a small business owner who has a contract with the federal government, we’re going to make sure you get paid a lot faster than you do now.”
And why would that matter to the Monthly? Because this policy measure — taking action to help small businesses who do business with the federal government get paid faster — originates from our January issue.
Readers of the print edition may recall Jeffrey Leonard, CEO of the Global Environmental Fund, has a great piece on small businesses, which generated a fair amount of attention from the likes of Jon Alter, David Leonhardt, and even Stephen Colbert.
The piece included a few important angles, but chief among them was an idea to address a problem many small businesses face, but which hasn’t generated much in the way of attention: require companies with federal contracts pay their suppliers within 30 days of invoice. The shift would not only improve small business cash-flow, but would also help expand hiring.
Apparently, the suggestion worked its way to the White House, and is now part of the president’s new economic agenda. That’s good for the Monthly, but it’s also good for small businesses and the economy.