“As today’s hearing emphasized, small businesses, particularly diverse-led businesses, need policies that will help ensure an equitable and resilient recovery from COVID-19,” said Bianca Blomquist, Senior Policy and Engagement Manager, Small Business Majority.
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“While we recognize the political difficulties in enacting major legislation, the cost of inaction is too great to be measured,” the groups including the Small Business Majority, AFL-CIO and National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions wrote.
“This makes them more vulnerable to loss compared to large businesses that have backup resources that other facilities or locations [have],” said Xiomara Peña with the non-profit Small Business Majority.
Small businesses are the backbone of Colorado’s economy, employing over 1 million people and making up 99% of all businesses. This community of entrepreneurs leads in innovation and job creation, and throughout the pandemic, they’ve had to quickly adapt to keep their businesses afloat.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) in introducing bipartisan legislation to help increase support for female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.
The legislation is supported by the Women Veterans Business Coalition (WVBC), Small Business Majority, Center for American Entrepreneurship, Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOEUSA), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), GovEvolve, and HUBZone Contractors National Council.
Applying to the program was also only part of the problem: Of the small businesses that did, many didn’t receive the funding they requested. A Small Business Majority survey in February 2021 found that 75 percent of white business owners received the full amount they asked for, while 51 percent of business owners of color did.
“There were a lot of flaws in the way programs were developed that excluded businesses,” says Brian Pifer, a policy expert for Small Business Majority. “If people had connections or lawyers or accountants, they were at the front of the line.”
Such improvements may include incremental changes to the act. As the Small Business Majority stated, “[W]e hope that Congress focuses on strengthening the law and creating even more opportunities for small business owners to access quality coverage at an affordable price.”
As the owner of a small home health care business, I’m shocked and disappointed by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem’s recent ruling blocking Medicaid expansion in Missouri. In my line of business, I’ve seen firsthand how beneficial this could be to small businesses and rural communities in our state that don’t qualify for alternative coverage options.
“This session was pretty great, with a lot of small business wins,” said Lindsey Vigoda, Colorado director of The Small Business Majority, an organization that advocates for and seeks to empower small businesses.
“Legislators are finally understanding that small businesses are the crux of a community, and they need to be written into every single policy,” Vigoda said.
Research shows that almost half of small business owners have increased deductibles or copayments for their employees, and a quarter have required their employees to pay higher premiums. A recent article in HealthcareDive.com cited findings from a poll sponsored by the Small Business Majority and patient advocacy group Families USA noting that “small businesses are struggling to cover the high costs of health insurance for their employees after a year of COVID-19.”