Tonight’s Presidential Debate and “The Economy”: Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Must Be the Focus

By at 29 September, 2020, 12:23 pm


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Tonight is the first presidential debate, and the nation’s leading advocate for entrepreneurs and small business owners is urging debate moderator Chris Wallace to direct pointed questions about the state of Main Street businesses and local economies to the candidates during the portion of the debate he has dedicated to “the economy.” Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan said that the devastation of millions of small businesses due to the COVID-19 crisis – with perhaps millions of closures to follow in the months ahead – and the recovery and rebuilding that will need to take place to dig out of the big economic hole, requires a comprehensive strategy and innovative thinking from the candidates. Entrepreneurs, the self-employed, small businesses and their employees across America will be tuning in to hear solutions and a plan of action for re-booting America’s economy, according to Kerrigan.

“Hundreds of thousands of local economies and millions of jobs depend on the viability and survival of small businesses. Unfortunately, Congress could not get it together and chose to abandon Main Street for the past two months.  There’s a big hole in the economy right now that requires continuous support for the short-term, and innovative solutions over the long-term. What is the specific plan of President Donald Trump and Joe Biden to bring Main Street and robust entrepreneurship back to life?” asked Kerrigan.

According to Kerrigan, in addition to bold and innovative policy proposals that need to be pursued by Washington, uncertainties exist on a host of issues regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) continuation, forgiveness and a potential tax hike; pending tax hikes due to the expiration of provisions in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”; increasing concerns about liability related to COVID-19; access to capital generally; a federal privacy framework, the direction of federal regulation, health coverage costs, and much more. For example, the COVID-19 crisis has shone a big spotlight on the digital divide and the need to bring broadband to rural and underserved communities.

“The challenges ahead are big ones that will require big and innovative thinking.  Small business owners and their employees cannot bear any more costs and burdens. New taxes and regulations are not an option in this unsteady and downsized economy,” added Kerrigan.

Moreover, entrepreneurs and their employees want to hear how the candidates will work with Congress to address the massive challenges that lie ahead. As Kerrigan noted, the stalemate on Capitol Hill over a recovery package is costing the economy countless small businesses and jobs.

“The uptick in the economy could have been stronger if Congress unified behind an approach before the summer recess, even a scaled down package, to help small businesses and local economies. Digging out of the COVID-19 economic hole will require energetic and innovative leadership in Washington, but also new initiatives and engagement with state and local leaders to create a unified purpose and resolve that will get the country back on a strong growth path,” Kerrigan concluded.


SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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