November 6, 2021
Statement from Frank Knapp Jr., President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce on the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
Columbia, SC, Nov. 6, 2021—The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill out of the House of Representatives is a welcome piece of legislation that will invest much needed resources into small businesses, local communities, and the systems that support a thriving Main Street.
Small Business for America’s Future’s most recent national survey of over 1,000 small business owners showed overwhelming support of the legislation, with 81% voicing support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and 66% saying the legislation will help small business.
Small businesses welcome investment in our roads, bridges, broadband, and other community resources. While the legislation calls for $1.2 trillion to be invested over 8 years, only $550 million is new spending with the balance from redirecting unspent emergency relief funds. The approximately $68 million a year in new funding will be easily offset, as the White House points out, “by targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures, in addition to the revenue generated from higher economic growth as a result of the investments.”
The Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill will deliver $65 billion in critical funding for high-speed internet. The lack of state-wide broadband is one of the major roadblocks to starting and growing small businesses in South Carolina’s rural and underserved communities. The other critical need is greater access to capital. The reconciliation bill in Congress addresses this problem by permitting the SBA to make small, direct loans to qualified entrepreneurs when banks and other lenders won’t make the loans. Eighty-seven percent of small businesses support this provision according to a survey by Small Business for America’s Future.
With the enactment of the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill, Congress must quickly pass the reconciliation package that contains numerous provisions that will help small businesses with the labor shortage, access to capital, healthcare costs, family and medical leave, and addressing climate change.