New Group Launches to Give Small Businesses a Stronger Voice with Policymakers as Pandemic Exposes Deep Mistrust of Leaders

New Group Launches to Give Small Businesses a Stronger Voice with Policymakers as Pandemic Exposes Deep Mistrust of Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:|
Conan Knoll
conan@emcstrategies.com
(831) 524-6764

Small Business for America’s Future, formerly Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, will focus on three areas of policy reform that will facilitate the creation and growth of small businesses while leveling the playing field with big business: health insurance, taxes, and economic security.  SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Frank Knapp, is co-chair of this organization.

June 16, 2020, Washington, D.C. — During the biggest small business crisis of our lifetime, a new survey of more than 1,200 small business owners shows they overwhelmingly feel our government leaders don’t understand small business needs and favor big business over small business, and the majority (54%) disapprove of the Trump Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Because of this, Small Business for America’s Future, a new coalition of small business owners and leaders, is launching today to elevate the voices of small business in Washington, D.C. and across the country to ensure policymakers put in place long term plans that help small businesses recover and create a more equitable economy for all.

Small businesses across the country are suffering. COVID-19 put into stark relief the importance of small businesses to our country, and highlighted the inequities that many entrepreneurs of color face. A recent poll of Black and Latino business owners found just 12% of the owners who applied for aid from the Small Business Administration reported receiving what they had asked for and nearly half say they will be permanently out of business by the end of the year. And the recent protests around the murder of George Floyd have placed a spotlight on long-term racial economic disparities.

“Many small business owners feel abandoned,” said Shaundell Newsome, co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future, owner of small business Sumnu Marketing and Chairman of the Board for the Urban Chamber of Commerce Las Vegas. “The Trump Administration’s confused, lackluster response to the fallout from COVID-19 has led to an overwhelming level of mistrust in our government leaders. That has been exacerbated by how minority business owners were left behind by the government’s response during a time when racial economic inequality is a huge concern. Entrepreneurs don’t think our leaders understand the needs of small business and favor big business. Small business owners are banding together to bring our strong, diverse voices to Washington to change that dynamic.  ”

Small businesses created nearly two-thirds of new jobs following the Great Recession. The chairman of the Federal Reserve recently acknowledged small businesses as the “principal source of job creation—something we will sorely need as people seek to return to work.”

Unfortunately, an online survey of 1,211 small businesses in Small Business for America’s Future’s network found 81% of small businesses don’t think America’s leaders understand the needs of small business, 84% think our leaders favor big business over small business, and 57% believe the Trump Administration’s policies favor big business over small business.

Small Business for America’s Future, a network of small business owners and leaders, will advocate for policies that will facilitate the creation and growth of small businesses while leveling the playing field with big business. The organization evolved from Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, which launched in 2017 to fight for small businesses during tax reform. Small businesses are facing a crisis and need a strong voice representing their needs.

“We’re committed to ensuring policymakers at every level of government prioritize Main Street by advancing an economic framework that benefits both small businesses and our employees,” said Dr. Erika Gonzalez, co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future, CEO of the South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Professionals and Chair of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Reducing the crushing cost of providing healthcare insurance will be important to ensuring small businesses are strong enough financially while maintaining coverage for employees.”

Small Business for America’s Future is asking policymakers to:

-Create a fair and equitable COVID-19 recovery plan that supports Main Street. The survey shows nearly a quarter (23%) of small business owners have considered closing their business permanently and 12% are facing the possibility of having to declare bankruptcy because of COVID-19. A majority (53%) have new debt related to COVID-19 and one-third (34%) have more than $50,000 in new debt. Of those small businesses that closed due to shelter-in-place orders and now have reopening costs, 40% are using a Paycheck Protection Program loan to finance those costs. However, 3 in 10 small business owners will dip into their personal savings to finance reopening and 20% will use credit cards to do so. Just 12% will use a bank loan and 52% have no reopening costs because they didn’t have to close their business.

-Correct market failures that have resulted in unbearably high healthcare costs and create affordable options for entrepreneurs and their employees. Seventy-one percent of small business owners surveyed say lowering healthcare costs is their top concern–so much so that every solution tested, from government-provided healthcare to market-based solutions, found support.

-Common-sense tax policies that put small businesses on a level playing field with large corporations and correcting the failures of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Post crisis, 69% said creating an equitable tax system is a top concern.

-Create programs that promote the economic security of small businesses by addressing universal small business problems that make them less competitive with big business. Access to capital in particular was a top concern for 64% of small business owners.

“Small businesses employ half the country. They also led the way out of the last recession by generating two-thirds of all new jobs. If we don’t prioritize small businesses, our economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession will be much slower and more painful,” said Anne Zimmerman, co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future and owner of Zimmerman and Co. CPAs in Ohio. “Tax reform is going to be an important part of this. There is no reason why tax reform has to favor large corporations. Legislation can, and should, be written to help our small businesses flourish and hire while making sure large corporations pay their fair share.”

“Small business owners are feeling abandoned by our leaders at the worst possible time. That’s shameful,” said Frank Knapp, Jr., co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future and President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “They did their part to help prevent the spread of the virus by closing down. It’s time for our leaders to do their part and address critical issues such as access to capital to make sure our small businesses survive, recover and grow.”

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About Small Business for America’s Future

Small Business for America’s Future (formerly Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform) is a coalition of small business owners and leaders nationwide working to provide small businesses a voice at every level of government. We’re committed to ensuring policymakers prioritize Main Street by advancing an economic framework that works for small businesses and their employees. Visit www.smallbusinessforamericasfuture.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. #SmallBizAF