Influence of public policy on small businesses
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There is a clear influence of public policy on small businesses that is rarely spoken about. In fact, most government agencies address “the business environment” in general, skimming through what exactly ails the small businesses.

The trick is persuading the government to take it up. You don’t have to be schooled in economics to notice that economic development does not always translate into the socioeconomic well-being of the people. The economy can grow rapidly.

In truth, it does not matter whether all macroeconomic indicators are well-balanced. Or whether we are topping the charts of economic prosperity. If all the economic growth recorded cannot translate to money in our pockets, are we even better off?

The principled guide to action taken by the executive branches of government must address a class of issues in a manner that benefits everyone. None more so than our small businesses. Or the so-called backbone of our economy.

Divide in economic classes

The growth of a country’s economy only means a bigger between the rich and the poor and instead of scaling down the income parity gaps, it only serves to inflate the gain coefficient.

Public policy, at this point, is what we ought to check as the musical chord that is we straining in the economic orchestra.

It has been more than 50 years into independence. Yet we still have to deal with trivial things such as poor hygiene and blatant misappropriation of public resources. I am appalled that we still have to call upon foreign personalities to come and remind us when and how to wash our hands.

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That in some parts of our great nation we still have to ask people to build toilets. Then something is seriously amiss. Or teaching the basics of life to a fifty-year-old state? In the 21st Century?

Remedy lost priorities

We missed the point somewhere along the way. I will dare ask what identity we had as people at independence. Unfortunately, that answer is far less appealing. To keep blaming our misfortunes on the colonial era is now a lost rhetoric. We have to do better.

Too much time has gone by since 1963 for any meaning to be drawn from our pre-independence conditions. Too many mistakes. Too many missed opportunities. And yet too many achievements as well.

Seemingly, we live in a country of misplaced priorities.  Should some ill-fated shuttle diplomacy to grant immunity to sitting heads of state for crimes against humanity take precedence?

A possible plunge into anti-homosexuality discussions at the August House? Sponsoring selfish bills to muzzle the media? The right answer is (or should be) a big, fat NO.

For a country crippled with so many problems both natural and artificial, more has to be done.

And the government must lead. Whether we are battling high levels of unemployment or failed leadership in public offices. An underperforming economy or terror threats that threaten to erode our international standing as the peaceful haven in a sea of chaos. A highly charged devolution drive with no clear directive. Or signs of getting it right anytime soon. A crippling poverty index with an ever-increasing income gap between the haves and the have-nots. This list is endless.

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Bring in equality, better programs

Enacting sound policies that will cater for the rights of every citizen in the country is what this country desperately needs. Such systems should be sound not only in their formulation but also in their implementation.

Our major undoing is in the formulation of policies that cater for a given class of society. When a part of the population walks around the streets feeling ‘less Kenyan’ than the others; then there is a problem. That becomes a recipe for disaster, creating a fertile ground for perpetuating societal ills rarely mentioned.

I keep asking why someone in the same developing country should earn more than half a million in basic salary, not be liable for taxation, while another sleeps hungry every other single day. What is he doing to the economy that is so great?

The primary goal of the regime (and its policies) should be to create an environment where every person can prosper. A guarantee that their work can bear fruit for their families, communities, and the nation at large.

Influence of public policy on small businesses

The problem in this part of the world is that we all see public policy as a vague concept existing only in books. And so little effort is put into doing better than the predecessor.

It is the skepticism that can be justified to some extent, what’s with the tons of beautiful blueprints commissioned over the years still lying on the shelves, waiting for their day of reckoning.

The way forward is to recognize that public policy is key to development; it is crucial, yet missing cog in the wheel of the socioeconomic prosperity of a given country. It dictates what resources you use or who gets what and at what time. It dictates how hard poverty will bite and how well off the citizens will be.

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We cannot move ahead to a sound economic standing with poorly formulated economic policies. If we are to shift the poverty baseline or provide lasting solutions to our socioeconomic woes, the buck to prosperity stops with a comprehensive public policy.

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About the author

Vani has a keen interest in investments, entrepreneurship, and small businesses.

Vani Ongaya

Vani has a keen interest in investments, entrepreneurship, and small businesses.

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