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Beyond 100 days

President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office have passed with deserved fanfare. It’s clear that America has turned a corner, and both nationally and internationally, President Obama has steadied the ship to a certain extent. The signs that the economy has emerged from its deepest doldrums will only encourage the President as he goes forward in his term.

But there's one sector that’s decidedly uncertain about President Obama’s performance, and that’s the small business world. While Obama’s first 100 days will be defined by his bailouts to Wall Street and his aid tp the automotive industry, his commitment to the small business and franchise sector has been somewhat less voluble. A story on the Wall Street Journal’s Independent Street blog profiles the tepid reaction among many voices in the small business sector towards the new prez.

“Unfortunately, small business owners largely believe that Washington just keeps cranking out more ways to abscond their limited time, capital and resources,” says Karen Kerrigan, executive director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, a lobby group, in a news release. “We hope that in the next 100 days and beyond, President Obama will turn to entrepreneurs for ideas that will reduce their government-imposed costs and burdens, solutions that will help them maintain and grow their workforce, and options for providing affordable health coverage.”

The story posits that some of the mixed reaction to President Obama in small business circles is political  - “many business advocacy groups tend to lean Republican”, Kelly Spors writes. And healthcare continues to be a contentious issue. But this blog tries to go beyond politics. We have seen time and time again how franchises and small businesses can reignite the economy. The macro signs show that we have endured the worst of the recession, but America will not return to its past economic glory until entrepreneurs get the necessary capital they need to get local economies – the real economy – properly functioning again.

President Obama arrived in Washington championing a mantra of change. For small business owners, it seems, the new president has not entirely delivered, and key tests, especially regarding health care, loom large.

What are your feelings about the next 100 days and beyond?

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