Foxhall Parker
Director, Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 29, 2024


Business voices nationwide are sounding the alarm on a Biden Administration proposal that may restrict their ability to hire, expand, and serve their communities. 

New bank rules could make it harder for small and medium-sized businesses to get the loans they need. The proposal, called 'Basel III Endgame,' would significantly increase U.S. banks' capital requirements and threaten their capability to service businesses vital to many local economies.  

Main Street Pays the Price 

Loans, lines of credit, and other financial products offered by banks are critical for Main Street businesses to grow and sometimes perform essential functions—like paying employees. Basel III Endgame rules would create new uncertainty and make borrowing more expensive for local enterprises. This is especially troublesome considering: 

  • Over 99% of all U.S. companies are small businesses. 
  • Small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees. 
  • Loans are critical for these businesses to hire and keep workers. 

One of those small businesses is Kaddas Enterprises in Salt Lake City, Utah. CEO Natalie Kaddas, who is Chair of the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Council, said the Basel III Endgame rules will restrict her business’ ability to invest in new equipment and technologies, hire needed talent, and meet customers’ growing demands.  

“As a small business CEO, I see firsthand the vital role of loans and financial services to keep Main Street businesses thriving. Washington's proposed Basel III Endgame rules directly threaten the ability of companies to thrive by hindering essential access to capital and creating financial uncertainty,” Kaddas said.

Voices Nationwide Sound the Alarm

In response, over 100 local chambers of commerce, representing businesses across America, are urging the Biden Administration to reverse course and: 

  • Reassess and examine the costs of the Basel III Endgame rule. 
  • Appraise the rule's impact on small and medium-sized businesses to access capital.  
  • Stop advancing rules threatening the growth of small and medium-sized businesses.  

Survey Shows Growing Concerns

The trepidation is real and felt across a broad swath of enterprises and industries. A U.S. Chamber survey found that company treasurers have trepidation towards banking regulations like the Basel III Endgame: 

  • 68% predict bank rule changes will hurt businesses 
  • 87% report financial regulations driving up costs 
  • 40% have dropped or reduced services due to regulatory expenses 

Bottom Line 

Leaders must understand that while the debates surrounding Basel III are happening in Washington, the real impact extends far beyond the nation's capital, affecting hometown businesses across America. 

READ THE LETTER: More than 100 chambers of commerce across the country urge the Biden Administration to protect Main Street businesses

About the authors

Foxhall Parker

Foxhall (Fox) Parker is the Director for the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he works on banking and insurance policy.