Georgia leads the nation in production of peanuts, pecans, blueberries and spring onions. Don’t forget the peaches. The warm weather, diverse soil types and rural surroundings make for fresh, rich produce. For Sarah O’Brien, owner and founder of Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta, this luscious produce is one of the main reasons she moved to the South to start her business in 2010.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the failing infrastructure systems we have in this country, particularly when it comes to a lack of investment in the “care economy.” Small business owners and employees alike have struggled to afford healthcare during a public health crisis and to take care of their young and elderly family members. As small business owners and representatives of the small business community, we’ve seen firsthand that a lack of access to affordable child care, healthcare and paid leave is hampering our workforce participation and our recovery.
As Congress debates a bipartisan infrastructure plan and a larger $3.5 trillion investment in “human infrastructure,” Small Business Majority surveyed its network to understand their views on key issues being considered such as child care and paid family and medical leave. The survey also examined how small businesses are navigating mask and vaccination requirements, as an increase in coronavirus cases becomes a concern for employers and local economies.
With 31.7 million small businesses in the country employing nearly half of the workforce, small businesses continue to struggle to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's why hundreds of them have signed onto a letter calling on Congress to invest in our country's outdated infrastructure systems. Doing so would create a better foundation for small business recovery post-pandemic and will better prepare businesses to weather future crises.
To support small businesses in every corner of America, we are calling on Congress to take bold action to ensure we can recover from the pandemic. This includes prioritizing the following measures in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan like physical infrastructure, broadband access, benefits and resources and small business contracting standards.
The White House's $2 trillion proposed American Jobs Plan—an infrastructure reform plan—continues to be hotly debated on Capitol Hill, and proposals to pay for infrastructure investments via tax reforms are some of the most contested pieces of the plan. A new small business survey reveals that small businesses strongly favor key provisions of the American Jobs Plan, and they support paying for them by enacting reforms that would require wealthy corporations and individuals to pay a higher share of taxes.
The past year has stretched many households to their broadband limit with kids learning virtually and parents working remotely at the same time, but for rural small business owner Shayai Lucero, this isn’t a new challenge.
Today, John Arensmeyer submitted a letter to congressional House and Senate leadership outlining the key provisions in the American Families Plan that would support small businesses. Additionally, the letter provides recommendations for how to structure tax reforms to ensure they level the playing field for small businesses.
As a leading representative of America’s 30 million small businesses, we offer the following recommendations on what small businesses are hoping to hear in President Biden's remarks when he addresses Congress on Wednesday, April 28.
This report compiles findings from focus groups and roundtable discussions with rural small business owners and other small business stakeholders in four states, as well as the results of a national poll of rural small business owners. The report also features recommendations for policymakers and service providers to increase opportunities for rural entrepreneurs.