- Brandon Dahms is the co-founder and partner of Innovative Manufacturing and Engineering in Des Moines.
- He is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Iowa cohort.
I’ve always believed that every crisis offers opportunity. I know that so many of my fellow small-business owners, after staring down the challenges of the past two years, have come away with clear ideas about how we can better support small businesses across the U.S. going forward, in both good times and bad.
As the co-founder of Innovative Manufacturing and Engineering in Des Moines, a supplier of high-volume precision CNC machined items out of various raw materials, I struggle to compete for labor with big companies when they can offer more lucrative benefit packages. As the focus intensifies to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. to soften supply chain woes that come with offshoring, manufacturers and small businesses would greatly benefit from modern programs supported by the Small Business Administration to allow us to pool with other small businesses in our region or industry to offer health insurance, among other benefits.
I am proud to say I will be joining more than 2,500 small-business owners — including 28 from Iowa — who will be bringing our energy and strength to Washington, D.C., on July 19 and 20 for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit. I am excited to join entrepreneurs from all 50 states as part of largest-ever gathering of small-business owners in the United States. We will hear top business leaders and policymakers share insights to help us grow and navigate our current challenges. We will also meet with our members of Congress to advocate for policies that reflect the modern economy in which we operate.
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Top on our policy agenda is a call to modernize the SBA, which has not been reauthorized by Congress since 2000. I don’t have to tell you how doing business in the U.S. has transformed over the past 22 years (that was before the smartphone!), and the SBA’s mission and policies should reflect those changes.
According to the SBA, small businesses make up 99% of all firms. We are the backbone of our nation’s economy — accounting for 65.1% of net new job creation since 2000. Our economic impact is real — the pivots and innovations we make in our businesses signal what’s to come for the rest of the country.
Small business’s trouble competing with large companies for talent is not unique to my small business, or to Iowa. A new survey from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices showed that hiring and retaining workers is the top challenge for small businesses across the country. When respondents nationwide were asked what the top reasons were for their hiring challenges, 78% of those seeking new employees said they were having trouble competing with larger employers on pay and benefits. Eighty-nine percent of respondents, myself included, would support lawmakers taking action to help address small business workforce and competitiveness challenges.
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Collectively, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses graduates represent over $17 billion in revenue and 245,000 jobs. As we travel to Washington in the coming days, we’re hopeful policymakers will hear our call to modernize the SBA to help small businesses meet the challenges of today’s economy.
Join us in calling on our elected representatives to use this crisis as an opportunity to help small businesses in Iowa and across the U.S. chart a successful path to economic recovery in the short term and beyond.
Brandon Dahms is the co-founder and partner of Innovative Manufacturing and Engineering in Des Moines and an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Iowa cohort. Bandon can be reached at [email protected]