CompTIA Members Stress Access to Capital, Skilled Workers in D.C.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Access to capital and a skilled workforce are critical to the success of small- and medium-sized IT businesses, CompTIA members told Congressional members and Administration officials today.
On the final day of CompTIA's Washington D.C. Fly-In event, CompTIA members from across the country met with policymakers to stress the issues that are important to small- and medium-sized tech businesses.
Meeting with officials at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, members said access to capital was a trying issue for IT businesses, as banks often do not recognize intellectual property or a recurring revenue model as valuable assets.
"Because it's not a physical asset, it's totally ignored," said Joey Benadretti, president of SYSPRO.
Other members said they had to turn to credit cards to upfront money for projects, or were forced to put plans for innovative projects on hold.
"There's a lot of interest in figuring out what we can do to make it easier for small businesses to have access to capital," Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said.
Several members told officials how hard it was to find qualified technology workers and suggested incentives for businesses to get employees trained to current IT skills, instead of incentivizing individual workers. Businesses know better than individuals what skills are needed in the workforce, they said.
"You guys are trying to create jobs," Kevin McDonald, executive vice president of Alvaka Networks, said. "We’re telling you there are 450,000 IT jobs now that aren't filled."
He also asked officials to add a small business representative to the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
In fact, having small business representation in Washington was one of the main reasons behind the entire Fly-In event. Bringing together small business owners to address concerns with policymakers as a group has a bigger impact, noted Raj Khera, CEO of MailerMailer LLC.
"The large companies have lobbyists here talking to Congress all the time," he said. "This is our time to come together as a force."