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

By at 13 September, 2022, 10:39 am


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – In a letter to U.S. House and Senate congressional leaders, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan is urging leaders to engage parties to avert a possible rail strike that would immobilize the nation’s rail system, causing chaos across sectors and damaging supply chains that are just beginning to exhibit some normalcy. As Kerrigan noted in the letter, many small businesses are in a fragile state due to inflationary pressures, slowing demand, labor shortages, and lingering supply chain issues and new disruptions such as the shutting down of our nation’s rail system could be the final blow that sinks many of these businesses. She wrote:

“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.”

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s involvement on this matter has not resolved this pending crisis, and Kerrigan urged Congress to engage and act in order to protect America’s economy and all of its vital sectors and players. She added:

“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).”

A strike could occur as early as Friday, September 16, and the rail service disruption could cost the economy $2 billion a day, according to the Association of American Railroads. Moreover, the disruption in goods and supplies across vital areas will cause shortages and higher prices.  Small and local businesses, along with their worker and customers, will bear the brunt of this outcome.



SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 28 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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