Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a Great First Step to Support Small Business, but Much More is Needed
Statement from John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on the importance of a robust infrastructure deal for small businesses
"After months of stalled negotiations, we are encouraged that a bipartisan group of senators have come to an agreement with the White House on an infrastructure package that includes critical provisions from the American Jobs Plan. But with that said, we urge Congress to enact even more substantial economic reforms needed to level the playing field for small businesses.
These investments are needed because more than a year after the start of the pandemic, small businesses, particularly those in underserved communities, continue to struggle on their road to recovery. Our recent polling shows that 22% of small businesses say their business operations are still declining, and more than 1 in 4 small businesses may not survive past three months without funding or market changes.
In addition to funding badly-needed physical infrastructure improvements, we're pleased to see that the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes a $65 billion investment in broadband access. Seventy-six percent of small businesses support expanded and enhanced broadband infrastructure that will help improve business operations and support access to a growing number of online customers and suppliers they built during the pandemic.
Although reaching a bipartisan deal on infrastructure reform is essential, Congress must do even more via a Senate reconciliation bill that tackles other economic obstacles facing small businesses. Many of these needs are addressed in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, including funding for community-based incubators and innovation hubs, opportunities for small firms to obtain federal contracts to work on infrastructure projects, and advancing healthcare affordability, paid family and medical leave, and child care. Small businesses strongly support these ideas, and we hope to see them as part of a final package in the next several weeks as Congress moves forward.
Today’s bipartisan infrastructure deal is an important first step to helping America’s entrepreneurs recover from the pandemic and be better positioned to withstand the next crisis. But more is needed to help small businesses genuinely thrive and grow. Small businesses do not care about the politics of obtaining infrastructure reform—they just want their members of Congress to swiftly enact the robust investments needed to help them compete in a challenging marketplace."
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business 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 and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.