Although the United States’ unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the recession, teenagers are not reaping the benefits of the rebound. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.2% of youth between the ages of 16 to 24 years old are unemployed. Small businesses can help reduce the youth unemployment rate, while addressing their staffing and labor issues.
The Small Business Association (SBA) is encouraging small business owners to pledge to make more opportunities for youth. The SmallBiz4Youth campaign is a national campaign designed to match “opportunity youth” with key entry-level positions. “Opportunity youth” are youths between the ages of 16-24, who are not working or in school.
The SmallBiz4Youth campaign asks small business owners to commit to:
- Increase hiring of youth;
- Partner with career centers, non-profits, and community colleges to find opportunity youth entry-level positions;
- Expand internship and apprenticeship opportunities;
- Engage in training and mentoring opportunities;
- Partner with suppliers to find opportunities to train, hire or mentor opportunity youth
The SmallBiz4Youth campaign’s efforts will introduce American youth to the business world, and help them build the necessary skills to be successful in a work environment. The campaign is just one piece of a larger effort by the SBA to create more opportunities for youth and Millennials in general across the nation. The effort extends all the way to the White House. President Obama started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative last year to create more opportunities for boys and young men of color. The SBA pledges to continue to focus on producing opportunities to hire and train American youth, especially those of color, to prepare them for the workforce.
Small businesses have the ability to drastically decrease youth unemployment, and to create more opportunities for youth of color. But many small businesses need help to get started or acquire enough funds to continue to operate or attain valuable resources. Finally, there is a way for small businesses to get fast cash when they need it. Very few traditional lenders will give small businesses a merchant cash advance, especially if they are in the high risk industry. FAM will supply your small business with merchant cash advances for all of your needs.