Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of Bloomberg LP, says that Washington D.C. has been hurting the small business community lately.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs (GS) 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, D.C., Bloomberg told a room of more than 2,000 small business owners that if their business doesn’t survive, they’ll have a chance to start again because they’re in the U.S.
“Overseas if you fail, you’re a failure. If a business doesn’t work, try to do it the next time. It’s what differentiates us from anywhere else.”
That said, the Trump administration’s stance on immigration could hurt that, according to Bloomberg.
“Washington has not been helpful,” he said, noting that they’re “considering hurting small business by keeping people out from all around the world who want to start more businesses.”
“As a matter of fact, they are trying to do something even stupider — that’s to have people here working and creating small businesses and forcing them to leave the country. That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard.”
Bloomberg cited that 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded or cofounded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.
“They create more jobs than you count. The truth of the matter is this country was built on immigrants,” he said.
He added there are capital and opportunities all over the planet, but people choose to start a business in the U.S. because of the work ethic. People who “have the drive” create the small businesses of today. Immigrants play important role in launching new enterprises.
“Immigrants who come to this country are people who understand what America is all about,” he said.
Small business is the “backbone” of the country. Presently, big companies are seeing the growth and job creation, he noted.
“That doesn’t bode well for the future because the next big businesses are the small businesses of today.”
He encouraged the audience to call their representatives to push for immigration.
10,000 Small Businesses is a program that aims to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create jobs by providing access to education, capital, and technical assistance.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.