Will Congress Shutter the Doors of Small Businesses?

By at 20 July, 2022, 4:04 pm


By Karen Kerrigan –  

Relentless inflation is hammering small businesses. Yet, some in Congress are still pushing legislation that would deeply aggravate the harm by upending the tech tools and platforms entrepreneurs and their employees use to drive sales, market their products or services, communicate with customers, or perform other important business functions. “Big-tech” legislation, such as the American Choice Online and Competition Act (S. 2992), aims to disrupt large tech players. However, many small business owners and their employees who depend on the digital tools and platforms provided by big-tech may find that they are the ultimate losers of this invasive regulatory disruption.

SBE Council’s latest Small Business Policy and the Economy Survey reported that 24% of small businesses fear their businesses may be forced to shutter if tech tools and services provided by big-tech players are discontinued, or if they are forced to pay, or pay more, for services that are currently free or low-cost.

In addition, 45% of small business owners say that their big business competitors would benefit from the new regulations, which often happens when sweeping regulatory initiatives, such as S. 2992, are enacted without studying the downstream effects or unintended consequences of the legislation. In fact, in SBE Council’s survey, 48% of small business owners say the proposals to break-up or regulate big-tech “will have negative impact on small businesses, thus hurting the economy and its recovery.”

As in most of the small business surveys that have been fielded this year by small business organizations, SBE Council’s survey pinpoints “inflation” as the top issue facing entrepreneurs. Inflationary pressures are squeezing small businesses from all sides – their costs are rising, and sales are weakening.

A new Alignable survey reports that an astonishing 47% of small business owners believe their firms are at risk of closing by fall 2022 if current economic conditions persist. That would be very dangerous for the U.S. economy and local economies across the country. It is why Congress and President Biden need to focus on fixing deteriorating economic conditions and inflation NOT making matters worse by taking away (or raising the costs associated with) the tech tools small business owners are using to drive sales and revenues, operate more efficiently, and acquire new customers.

Not surprisingly, “regulating big tech” landed dead last on the list of priorities for small business owners when provided a list of issues that President Biden and Congress must prioritize.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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