Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Seger: Federal Agencies Should Get out of Entrepreneurs Way

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Seger: Federal Agencies Should Get out of Entrepreneurs Way

Article excerpt

Federal regulatory agencies should "get out of the hair and out of the way" of entrepreneurs, Oklahoma small business leaders were told Thursday by Martha R. Seger, a member of the Federal Reserve System board of governors.

"My belief is the best way we can help is with less rather than more public policies," Seger told the Small Business Department of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "We should reduce regulatory burden."

While Seger said credit is the most critical need of entrepreneurs, particularly in depressed economies of states such as Oklahoma and Texas, she offered no magic formulas to increasing sources of financing.

A cut in the capital gains tax may be one of the best ways to help small business firms, she said, and she suggested that more information is needed by small business firms and lenders for entrepreneurs to make more use of competitive credit.

"Both sides need to be educated," she said.

Most entrepreneurs, she said, use equity capital from families and friends, because debt capital generally has been unavailable.

"Venture capital is a source for some," she said, "but this is available primarily for high tech firms in recent years. Venture capitalists like the sexy and exotic firms, but the more mundane companies are not as likely to get venture capital."

Seger, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, is directly involved in the formulation and execution of American monetary policy. She has been a professor of finance and economics for more than two decades, including research on capital markets and financial instutions for the Federal Reserve Board.

She has been selected one of the top 100 corporate women in American by Business Week magazine and was named Michigan Woman of the Year in 1986.

While she pointed to non-discrimination policies of the Federal Reserve Board, she said she personally feels discrimination is not as important as "lack of knowledge" among entrepreneurs having difficulty in acquiring credit. …

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