PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

KERRIGAN IN TOWNHALL: Don’t Force Small Business Owners into Becoming the Food Police

By at 13 June, 2024, 11:30 am

In a June 6 Townhall OP-ED, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan reviews the various challenges faced by small businesses. She writes that government policies should support and relieve small businesses of burdens, not work to create more costs and uncertainties. An idea being floated by some members of Congress would impose new restrictions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which means complex responsibilities would be imposed on local grocery stores. This is an industry dominated by small businesses, and one where profit margins are slim. Kerrigan notes:

“Encouraging people to eat healthier is an important goal that needs to be fully encouraged, but placing arbitrary restrictions on what families can put in their grocery carts is fraught with problems. It would turn clerks and cashiers into the food police by requiring they enforce a ‘good food’ list. This adds an enormous obligation to small businesses already struggling to survive. Grocery and convenience stores operate on really tight profit margins, so Congress must ensure that any changes to SNAP do not unduly harm these businesses.

She adds that SNAP enjoys a 60-year history of success. Currently, more than 250,000 retailers partner with the United States Department of Agriculture to provide SNAP benefits. Of those, more than 80% are smaller retailers such as locally-owned grocery stories, bakeries, farm stands and more. Under the considered “nutrient dense” guidelines, 600,000 new products would need to be examined by the federal government on a yearly basis and would require small business owners and their employees to police these purchases at the store.

Read the full OP-ED here. 

 

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