Philosophy, Law and Politics

Is America Ready, Willing and Able for True Small Business Innovation, For-Profit and Not-for-Profit?

Perhaps, those state governments which have not, and even possibly Congress, should consider new legislation to provide funding and guidance to small businesses. Measures pending in both the New York Assembly (A6169) and Senate (S7546) permit the New York  State Empire Development Corporation to designate a list of colleges, universities, state and national government laboratories, and public research institutes that may partner with small businesses and provide research and development guidance as the small businesses create innovative projects and services for increased employment and economic growth, funded, in part, by the Empire Development Corporation. The research and development partners  have adequate resources and facilities and agree to accept funding vouchers issued to small businesses by the Empire Development Corporation in payment for their services. The amount of the voucher varies depending upon the innovativeness of the project proposed by the small business.

Each small business submits an application describing its project which is reviewed by a committee appointed by the Empire Development Corporation. This committee consists of persons in higher education, science and technology, and business. Approval of an application is determined by the project’s innovativeness, technical feasibility, commercial viability and creation of employment. A small business may, but is not required to, name its chosen  research and development partner in its application. For an approved project, a small business is issued a  voucher by the Empire Development Corporation in an amount up to $10,000. Or, up to $50,000, if the project is deemed highly innovative in its creation of substantial economic growth and job development in an emerging technology field. Funding does require a dollar for dollar match by the approved small business.

Such a program would permit academic, not-for-profit and governmental research organizations to glean the type of entrepreneurial enterprises suitable for their respective marketplace. And, it would facilitate a continuation of small businesses of custom and tradition within local communities as they continue generational family businesses in an era of increasingly complex technology. America’s research organizations are on the forefront of social and academic development. They are comprised of academics and researchers from a variety of countries, disciplines and heritages. They are multicultural and multifaith. A competitive, marketplace-based funding of small businesses permits small businesses to collaborate with research and development partners historically beyond them for want of both time and resources.

In the philosophical thought of José Ortega y Gasset, phenomenology, as a study of experience, requires that we look beyond our mere conceptual perception of an act or object as fact, such as a model of a good, product or service. We must focus upon the act or object or fact as it exists in living form, as a living act or object or fact. The transition of a model good, product or service of a small business into a final, finished good, product or service requires its conversion into an extant, living form. The specialized understandings of America’s researchers and developers, only, enable such a transformation, and an act of collaborative performance in America is a good thing!

Lori Gayle Nuckolls, Esq.

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