PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Small Business Advocate Supports House Members Who Urge Caution about Radical Legislation Aimed at U.S. Tech Leaders

By at 24 June, 2021, 8:46 am

NEWS

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – As the House Judiciary Committee races to finish up a voting marathon on hastily crafted antitrust and regulatory bills aimed at U.S. technology leaders, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan urged committee members and other House members expressing concern about the legislative rush  – and the vast impact of these bills – to continue their advocacy in support of the startup ecosystem, innovation and small businesses, and to continue to demand hearings on the bills.

As Kerrigan noted in previous communications to Capitol Hill and SBE Council members, both the intended and unintended consequences of the radical legislative package will have a negative impact on the millions of small businesses that utilize the tools and market access provided by America’s leading technology companies, as well as the startup ecosystem that is responsible for creating U.S. technology leadership and innovative competitiveness.

Kerrigan said:

“Committee leaders crafting these bills are living in a fundamentally different world and economy than the one entrepreneurs and small businesses actually operate in. The big technology platforms and innovative tools are helping small businesses more efficiently operate, find new customers and markets, communicate and engage with customers, and more effectively operate their businesses. This was especially the case during the COVID-19 crisis.

“In addition, competition is thriving in the technology and retail sectors – actually most U.S. sectors – and largely as a result of U.S. technology and innovative tech platforms. Entrepreneurs have abundant choices and see significant opportunity in starting new businesses, as evident by the surge in new business creation – especially in the retail and online retail sectors.

“These intrusive bills would radically disrupt the digital economy in a very bad way for entrepreneurs and small businesses. I really do not believe members pushing these bills have thought through the consequences of the legislation. They certainly have not explored these consequences, especially for small businesses, and how the legislative package would put America’s technology sector – and therefore all of our businesses – at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.”

According Kerrigan, and despite the economic upheaval brought on by COVID-19, last year was the biggest year yet for new business applications – more than 4.3 million applications were filed in 2020 (+843,000 more than in 2019) with retail being the fastest growing sector. In 2020, 822,000 applications were filed to launch retail businesses — an increase of 58.2% over 2019. The surge in new business creation has continued throughout 2021.

Kerrigan added:

“As noted by House Antitrust subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, the legislation is all ‘about whether or not we have an economy where businesses fighting for economic survival can actually succeed.’ We agree, but the legislative package he and other committee members are working to advance would actually undermine the very tech safety net and innovations that have allowed small businesses and our economy to survive COVID-19. Our small businesses are in a position to recover nicely because of the availability of these tech tools and platforms. We are relieved to see members on both sides of the aisle expressing concern and alarm, and we urge them to continue to speak up.”

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to continue its work today on the legislative package.

CONTACT:

Karen Kerrigan, kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org

Raymond J. Keating, rkeating@sbecouncil.org  

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 www.sbecouncil.org for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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