The Colorado state legislature is considering a bill that would make Colorado the seventh state in the country to establish a program guaranteeing access to paid leave to care for a newborn child or a sick family member. Small business owners and their employees are particularly affected by the current lack of access to paid family leave as many small businesses can’t afford to offer robust benefits, putting them at a disadvantage with their larger counterparts. Small business has been central to ongoing debates over the legislation, and new polling sheds light on their views on the proposal and their struggles to offer access to paid family and medical leave benefits.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testified in opposition to HB19-1058. Unlike the previously proposed FAMLI Act, HB19-1058 would not do enough to make accessing paid family and medical leave affordable for most small business owners and their employees. Additionally, it would not do enough to increase access for moderate- and low-income workers who already struggle to save for emergencies or retirement.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testifies in support of HB19-1164, which would expand the child tax credit. Expanding the child tax credit is an investment in Colorado’s working families, including small businesses. It will help grow the economy and improve long-term financial wellness for thousands throughout the state.
Small Business Majority writes in support of HB19-1174, which concerns out-of-network health care services, or surprise billing. The legislation would bring more transparency and affordability to pricing for healthcare services, benefitting small businesses’ bottom lines and helping to control costs in the healthcare system overall.
Lindsey Vigoda directs Small Business Majority’s outreach, policy and fundraising efforts in Colorado. Using her social work skills, Lindsey builds and maintains strong relationships with small business communities throughout the state, focusing on key policy issues. Previously, she served as Colorado Outreach Manager, coordinating the organization's education and small business outreach across the state.
Small Business Majority has created a comprehensive state policy agenda to ensure entrepreneurship is at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy in Colorado. It’s critical that state lawmakers enact policies to support and empower these entrepreneurs, guaranteeing they have access to capital to start and grow their business, affordable and quality healthcare and benefit programs that will make it easier for them to attract and retain talented employees.
Colorado Outreach Manager Hunter Railey testified in support of legislation that would create the Early Childhood Educator Tax Credit. The hearing was called by the Colorado General Assembly Education Committee. Hunter's testimony explained how the proposed bill will benefit small businesses by increasing access to affordable, quality child care. The bill will also directly help home-based child care providers.
Colorado’s family leave program currently only provides unpaid leave for certain workers who need to take time off from work to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill family member. However, many workers cannot afford to take extended unpaid leave, and some small employers are unable provide paid leave benefits to their employees for an extended period of time.
Small businesses account for a significant share of Colorado’s economy. For every one large business in Colorado, there are 179 small businesses diligently working to reenergize the state’s economy: Small firms make up 99% of the state’s employers. These entrepreneurs are doing everything they can to hire, grow and move their businesses and the state’s economy forward. As part of these efforts, recent scientific opinion polling shows that Colorado’s entrepreneurs want pragmatic, innovative policies that help guide them into a competitive, modern clean energy economy.