WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Inc. Magazine recently published an article on how student loan debt has prevented many young people from starting their own businesses and highlighted Senator Maggie Hassan’s legislation to help provide student loan debt relief to young entrepreneurs as a potential policy solution to this problem. The article discusses the importance of supporting entrepreneurship in order to create new jobs and help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hassan is focused on supporting small businesses and promoting innovation. Last year, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation to expand the research and development (R&D) tax credit for innovative small businesses. Senator Hassan is also working to alleviate the burden of student loan debt and joined in introducing legislation to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which would help ensure that millions of teachers, social workers, service members, first responders, nurses, public defenders, and other public service professionals will qualify for the loan forgiveness they have earned.
See below for excerpts from the Inc. Magazine article:
BY LEIGH BUCHANAN
[…] After the pandemic knocked the wind out of our economy, recovery plans focused mainly on saving existing small businesses rather than breathing life into new ones. Yet entrepreneurship is critical to emerging from the Covid-induced recession. Startups drive almost all net new-job creation. They contribute disproportionately to innovation, breaking new ground while also spurring midsize and large companies to follow suit. And perhaps most important in the current climate, startups are well-positioned to respond to drastic changes in consumer and business behavior, recognizing and acting on opportunities born of adversity.
[…] For aspiring entrepreneurs, student debt reduces the amount of cash available for startups and affects their credit score, making business loans tough to secure. It also renders more daunting the prospect of failure, which increases risk aversion.
[…] "The assumption historically was that the best time to take this sort of risk and do a startup was right after school," says Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who in 2017 introduced a bill to offer student-debt relief for qualified founders and their employees. As governor of New Hampshire and later as a senator, Hassan repeatedly heard from college students "who thought they had good ideas [but] weren't going to pursue them after they graduated because of student debt," she says.
[….] Hassan's bill, called the Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators Act, would allow startup founders and their full-time employees to defer student debt payments--without accrual of interest--for three years at any point during the first five years after launch.