The president’s State of the Union speech last night touched on many of small business owners’ key concerns, particularly increasing consumer demand by strengthening the middle class, closing corporate tax loopholes and ensuring open and fair Internet access for all. What’s more, the president highlighted the importance of small businesses and the middle class—the engine of small business prosperity.
Small business job creation significantly outperformed that of big businesses in 2014. Creating smart policies that support our nation’s job creators and their middle-class customer base is the most common sense way to ensure our economy continues down a pathway to prosperity.
Unfortunately though, small businesses too often find their needs being subordinated to those of big business, and sometimes even hijacked to support polices that don’t benefit them or their middle-class customers. We know from our polling that consumer demand is the top concern for small business owners, and one of the best ways to create that demand is to strengthen the middle class. According to the Public Affairs Council, 68 percent of respondents say they prefer to shop at local small businesses. But in order to get more people into local stores and restaurants, we need smart economic policies that will bolster our nation’s job creators and their middle-class customer base.
While we would have liked to see some more small business-friendly proposals in the president’s remarks, including ones that address access to capital, a healthcare marketplace that works and policies that create greater demand for their goods and services, many of the plans the president outlined are ones small business owners support, including:
- Closing corporate tax loopholes that put small businesses at a disadvantage, and cutting the top corporate tax rates. Small Business Majority’s opinion polling found 75 percent of entrepreneurs believe their small business is harmed when big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes, and 90 percent believe big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay.
- Expanding broadband in rural areas and ensuring a fair and open Internet, which will help drive business growth, entrepreneurship and job creation. Small Business Majority’s polling found 59 percent of small businesses support creating a nationwide wireless network and expanding access to high-speed wireless services.
- Calling on Congress to work together to find solutions to reform the immigration system, something small business owners support. Small business owners recognize our current immigration system is broken and believe fixing it will help them foster a better workforce and stronger economies.
While the president’s speech highlighted many of the issues small employers see as vital to our economic success, we need lawmakers to start acting on policies that level the playing field for small firms and put them in a position to succeed. By taking action on smart policies like these, lawmakers can help the small business community and middle class grow and thrive.