PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Startup Entrepreneurs Embrace Technology and Not Big Government Regulation

By at 25 March, 2022, 11:32 am

by Raymond J. Keating –

Private sector technology and innovation have made real differences in terms of helping entrepreneurs start up new businesses during the pandemic. That’s right. To use the political vernacular of the day, “Big Tech” has been important to startup entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, big government, which has had “Big Tech” in its regulatory crosshairs supposedly to help the little guy, creates costs and concerns for these small businesses. That would be ironic if it weren’t rather straightforward common sense.

These are just some the lessons to be learned from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s important and information-packed survey of entrepreneurs who started businesses during the pandemic.

Regarding technology, 89 percent of these entrepreneurs agreed that social media was a major factor in launching their businesses; 87 percent said access to electronic payment options was important; 79 percent cited affordable online ads; 77 percent pointed to e-commerce sites and website builders; 73 percent noted access to “back office” services provided by technology platforms; and 56 percent highlighted access to online marketplaces like Amazon, e-Bay, Shopify, Etsy, and Newegg.

When all of us should be focused on the need to re-energize entrepreneurship in America, these are vital results to recognize and digest. But there’s more.

For good measure, 68 percent said they rely on established tech platforms, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Instagram, Microsoft and TikTok, either a great deal (38 percent) or quite a bit (30 percent), with another 22 percent saying somewhat. That tallies up to 90 percent.

Meanwhile, as for big government taking on “Big Tech,” 61 percent of these startup entrepreneurs are worried about proposed regulations on tech companies, seeing negatives for those enterprises and for their own businesses.

Among those concerned:

● 58 percent are worried that such tech regulation will make it more expensive for them to access and retain customers

● 58 percent are worried that they will have to pay for services that are currently free to them

● 49 percent are concerned about disrupted communications with current and potential customers 47 percent worry that it will be harder for customers to find their business

● 43 percent believe that customer acquisition will become more difficult.

Politicians and their appointees often try to portray intrusions into the competitive marketplace as government coming to the rescue of the little guy suffering at the hands of big business. That’s an old political pitch that made little sense in the past, and as evidenced by fundamental economics and the views of entrepreneurs, even less so today.

The big concern for small business certainly is not the technology firms that have provided powerful tools to make it easier and more affordable to startup and build a business, but instead, it’s big government seeking to undermine private sector innovation and investment.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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