Rail Strike Would Impose Costly and Irreversible Harm for Many Small Businesses

By at 12 September, 2022, 7:51 pm

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                          The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Speaker                                                           Majority Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                       U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C.  20515                                 Washington, D.C.  20510


The Honorable Kevin McCarthy                    The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Republican Leader                                         Republican Leader

U.S. House of Representatives                      U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C. 20515                                 Washington, D.C.  20510


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and Republican Leaders McConnell and McCarthy:

Most of our nation’s small businesses will not be able to endure another disruptive economic event that throws business operations and supply chains into chaos. If the freight railroads and their unions fail to reach an agreement by the end of the week, a shutdown of the nation’s rail service would inflict costly – and perhaps irreversible – harm for many local businesses nationwide. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) urges Congressional leaders to persuade parties to reach a voluntary agreement. We hope such encouragement will help move the needle to reach agreement by the parties, but failing a positive outcome Congress can intervene further and if that option is necessary SBE Council urges the implementation of the specific recommendations put forth by the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB).

The latest round of small business surveys reveal that many small businesses are in a fragile state. Many are still digging out of the COVID shutdowns, and navigating inflationary pressures, labor shortages, slowing demand, and lingering supply chain issues. New disruptions via the shutting down of our nation’s rail system could be the final blow that sinks many small businesses, particularly as those in the retail sector work to plan and prepare for the holiday season. Moreover, disruptions across industries – from agriculture, to health care, manufacturing and more – will not only further burden and harm small businesses, but their customers and workers who are also worried about their finances and economic uncertainty.

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s involvement on this matter has not resolved this pending crisis. We strongly urge Congress to engage and act in order to protect America’s economy and all of its vital sectors and players. Thank you, in advance, for your support of small business.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO



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