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NHL Lockout: SBA to the Rescue

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The NHL Lockout goes far beyond taking away salaries from players, ticket sales from owners, and games from the fans. It cripples restaurants, parking attendants, local small businesses and more.

SBA Administrator Karen Mills has been traveling across the country recently to talk about President Obama’s tax proposals to help support small business. At a recent stop in St. Louis, a reporter asked her if she was a hockey fan.

“There is a lack of hockey right now,” said Mills, referring to the NHL lockout, “And that’s affecting a lot of small business owners. So the Small Business Administration has come forward and said we’re going to be coaching some small businesses this fall who may around some of the stadiums. They might be in the ticket business; they might be in the entertainment business.”

The official release from sba.gov echoes Mills’ comments: “In the 23 cities that host NHL teams, SBA representatives will be reaching out over the coming weeks to business owners to provide counseling sessions and help businesses work through this difficult time.”

To date, the NHL has cancelled all regular season games through December 30, totaling 526 games for 30 different teams, and 30 different economies affected. For example, the NHL canceled its 2013 All-Star game, scheduled to be in Columbus,Ohio. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the financial hit for the city is $12 million in revenue and as much as $50 million in media exposure. “Small businesses are the backbone of our cities and towns and they should not have to sit in the penalty box,” Mills said, “When massive work stoppages interrupt a big business operation you really do have a trickle-down effect to small business.”

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