The President’s Proposed Budget is a Step in the Right Direction for Small Businesses, but More Work Remains
Statement from John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 and its impact on small business recovery
"President Biden proposed today a budget for Fiscal Year 2022 that details the White House’s efforts to boost our nation’s economy through investments in infrastructure, healthcare and other benefits that are critical to small businesses. Some of these proposed investments will help expand opportunities for minority and rural business owners that have typically been unavailable. While we applaud the President’s commitment to creating policies that will bolster entrepreneurship and job creation, we must also acknowledge that more work remains.
Outlined in the proposed budget are several key provisions that will help small businesses and their employees, including the following:
- Robust physical infrastructure improvements to address the crumbling roads and bridges, slow supply chains, and weak broadband that can cripple a small business owner’s ability to efficiently run their company.
- Policies to expand and improve childcare, which will support women- and minority-owned small childcare businesses, and ensure entrepreneurs and employees alike have access to the affordable childcare they need to fully participate in the workforce.
- A national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, an idea that is supported by more than 70% of small businesses.
- Policies to expand opportunities for small businesses owned by people of color. The budget proposes an investment of $70 million, an increase of $22 million, to fund economic development grants and research to ensure policies effectively support the minority business community.
- Policies to increase rural outreach and connectivity to help people in high-poverty rural communities gain access to federal resources and broadband, which would support rural small businesses and entrepreneurs who are struggling to access customers and markets.
- A modern and diverse federal acquisition system that will create a more equitable acquisition process.
We’re also pleased to see that the budget includes several healthcare provisions that would expand access to coverage, lower costs, and address rising prescription drug prices. Our recent poll found that 34% of small businesses say it’s been a challenge getting health insurance coverage for themselves and their employees during the pandemic.
Although important, these proposals won’t be nearly enough if we don’t tackle all of the major obstacles small businesses face. That is why we’re continuing to call on policymakers to put small businesses front and center by providing more financial assistance through targeted grants and loans for the most vulnerable businesses facing a long road to recovery, a critical need that has become more evident with the deadline of the problematic Payment Protection Program at our doorstep.
We are glad the Biden Administration is proposing policies that will help to empower America’s diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. What’s missing: prioritizing access to grants and capital that hard-hit small businesses need to successfully recover from the pandemic. We will continue to make this administration aware of the needs of small businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic and require significant support to rebuild."
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.