While the 21st century economy holds the potential for incredible growth and prosperity, the promise of these possibilities are by no means widely shared. Despite recovery efforts from the Great Recession, far too many Americans still feel vulnerable in this economy and see limited avenues for mobility.
I saw this susceptibility firsthand on a summer tour of several small towns across the country. Joined by three BPC leaders: former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, former Small Business Administrator Karen Mills, and former CEO of FirstMerit Bank Paul Greig, I heard the passion, concerns, and frustrations of community bankers, small business leaders, and entrepreneurs. The takeaway was simple—a lot of people feel left behind and do not believe that government offers any real solutions.
Although politicians and business leaders on both sides of the aisle proudly boast their support for Main Street, rhetorical support has not always been accompanied by meaningful action. As a result, BPC has taken our analysis and spirit of collaboration outside of the beltway and amplified our efforts to find pragmatic solutions that ease the anxiety and economic strain of Americans living on Main Street, particularly in rural communities.