2021 Small Business Policy Priorities
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization that empowers America’s diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,000 business organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth.
American Jobs Plan & American Families Plan
We need additional bold action to support small businesses during and after the pandemic to ensure they are better positioned to withstand the next crisis. That’s why we support the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, which each make investments in traditional and modern forms of infrastructure that will help aid small business growth. Our recent survey showed broad support among small businesses for these provisions including 79% support for improving the nation’s physical infrastructure and 76% support for expanded and enhanced broadband infrastructure. Furthermore, the provisions that would close tax loopholes for large corporations and wealthy Americans who don’t pay their fair share will level the playing field for small business owners. For instance, The American Jobs Plan establishes a 15% minimum tax on profits that the largest corporations report to their investors (“book income”), which would stop firms from using manipulated “taxable income” to pay little or nothing in taxes. More than 3 in 4 (76%) small businesses support this idea.
Access to capital and responsible alternative lending
Small business owners, particularly people of color, face significant hurdles accessing capital from traditional banking institutions. We must act to ensure greater access to responsible capital for entrepreneurs by enacting the following:
- Provide unrestricted grant funding for those small businesses that were left behind, or underfunded, by federal relief programs.
- Provide automatic forgiveness for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) under $150,000.
- Appropriate a second round of funding to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to reach hard-hit small businesses that were unable to secure funding in the first round.
- Ensure equity for unbanked and underbanked small businesses via set-asides and targeted programs for the smallest businesses.
- Support flexible, patient capital products through increased government backing.
- Maintain the recent expansion of funding for the CDFI Fund at $3 billion.
- Provide more immediate funding and resources for business assistance providers.
- Pass the Small Business Lending Disclosure and Broker Regulation Act, which would extend Truth in Lending Act disclosure requirements to small business loans and credit products.
Access to affordable and quality healthcare over the last several years has been threatened by rollbacks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), disproportionately impacting owners and employees of the smallest businesses. We recommend the following:
- Make permanent the premium assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan that has helped make healthcare more affordable for many entrepreneurs. In particular, we support increasing premium assistance to those who are otherwise eligible for premium tax credits and expanding subsidies to people making more than 400% of FPL.
- Address the rising costs of prescription drug prices that are hurting small businesses' bottom lines.
- Make significant investments towards educating the public about when the annual open enrollment period begins. This must include multi-year funding for consumer assistance in navigating the program and submitting applications.
Paid leave, retirement, other benefits
Today’s entrepreneurs and small business employees need a modernized benefits system that is responsive to 21st century realities and promotes quality jobs for all.
- Support federal efforts to establish publicly administered retirement savings programs (like "Secure Choice" auto-IRA/programs), which our polling shows small businesses support.
- Pass the FAMILY Act to establish a national program that would provide partial wage replacement for small business employees and the self-employed to access parental leave or to handle serious health conditions for themselves and family members.
- Implement policies at the national and state level to help more working parents afford childcare, understanding this is essential to building and retaining a skilled workforce.
Other provisions essential to small business success
- Ensure the Attorney General takes steps to support recipients of Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), understanding that young immigrants are essential to small business ecosystems.
- Create a student debt relief program for entrepreneurs.
- Enact and enforce antitrust laws to ensure small businesses compete on a level playing field.