State of the Union Must Address the Importance of Investing in Small Business Recovery and Resiliency

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on President Biden’s first State of the Union address

“The president’s State of the Union (SOTU) address will mark two years since we learned that COVID-19 would envelop the world as a pandemic. Our polling indicates that most small businesses still have not returned to pre-pandemic operations, revenue, and workforce levels. They are still dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic and need substantial resources to support a long-term path towards recovery. We hope that President Biden will utilize today’s SOTU to address some of the additional resources small businesses need to sustain a strong business ecosystem that could promote a thriving economy. 

Despite the tremendous and unique obstacles small business owners faced throughout the pandemic and continue to face today, this administration did produce accomplishments that played a valuable role in promoting an environment where small businesses could stay open. For example, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided crucial loans and programs to small businesses. Additionally, the bipartisan infrastructure bill invested in the expansion of broadband access and funded the repair of our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. Our polling found that the vast majority of small businesses supported improving our nation’s physical infrastructure, citing these reforms as the impetus to support greater access to customers and suppliers and enhance business operations.

While this administration has produced tangible benefits for small employers and entrepreneurs, tonight’s address should also recognize that rebuilding our national economy and safeguarding a successful long-term recovery plan requires focused attention on ensuring that critical capital reaches very small and disadvantaged businesses. We hope the president will address the following focus areas within his speech:

  • Replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) - The RRF provided necessary grants to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open when many restaurant owners faced significant hurdles in accessing capital from traditional banking institutions. Congress must quickly replenish this program and help the more than 180,000 RRF applications that remain unfunded. 

  • Revisit the Build Back Better plan (BBB) and the included benefits for small businesses - BBB includes provisions that would provide critical support to the small business ecosystem, including measures to increase healthcare affordability, establish a national paid family and medical leave program and improve the nation’s childcare infrastructure. Additionally, the plan includes $5 billion for the Small Business Committee title to invest in small business lending and business assistance programs. Small businesses strongly support federal measures that will help them face possible setbacks by providing them with the resources they need to recruit and retain a strong workforce. 

  • Enact and enforce antitrust legislation - Legislation such as the “America COMPETES Act” and the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act”  will support small businesses by promoting fair competition. Preventing preferential treatments on digital platforms and investing in measures to strengthen the supply chain and American manufacturing creates a level playing field for small businesses. What’s more, tackling monopolies and creating space for small employers and entrepreneurs to compete in a changing global market is a necessary step towards building a healthy business ecosystem. 

To ensure America’s job creators have the resources they need to thrive, we urge the president to use this opportunity to promote these critical policies and help play a valuable role in building an environment of equitable small business growth. Congress must prioritize leveling the playing field for small businesses and breaking down barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship through smart economic policies. By taking on these measures, the road to financial recovery can be sustainable and robust.” 


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 1,500 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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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