Weekly Columns

Small Businesses: the Backbone of the American Economy

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Washington, April 29, 2015 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

May 4-8 is National Small Business Week, which is intended to encourage all of us to recognize the contributions of the small business community to the American economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Tennessee has more than 500,000 small businesses that employ more than 1 million people. These job creators are the backbone of the American economy and I am proud of the entrepreneurs in Tennessee and around the country.

Small businesses are burdened with hours upon hours of paperwork and many have difficulties in their efforts to comply with new and unnecessary regulations pushed by the Obama administration. As your Congressman, I believe one of the most important things I can do for small businesses is to ensure their needs are considered in any policies developed by Congress and the administration. Just last week, the House voted on H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act. This bipartisan bill will ensure small businesses are represented at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by creating a Small Business Advisory Board. 

Perhaps the most unfair tax family-owned small businesses face is the death tax, which is why I was proud to vote for H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act, which would permanently repeal the death tax. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 34 percent of its members have incurred expenses in the last five years to protect themselves from death tax liability. According to a 2012 Joint Economic Committee study, the death tax has reduced the amount of capital stock in the U.S. economy by roughly $1.1 trillion since its introduction. Repealing the death tax will undoubtedly help free up capital for small businesses and other job creators to invest back in the economy and I am hopeful the president will reconsider his veto threat of this important legislation.

I’ve also worked to protect small businesses from the president’s health care law by cosponsoring H.R. 248, the American Job Protection Act. This legislation would repeal the employer mandate, which requires businesses with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance to their employees. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report that found 77 percent of small business owners are concerned the health care law will make health coverage more expensive. I believe it’s unacceptable to put this burden on small businesses, especially during a time when many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. Most small businesses, especially those in our region, work hard to provide competitive benefits to their employees. We should encourage them to continue doing this, not push employers into a system they cannot afford – forcing many of them to cut jobs and other benefits.

I am proud of the small businesses in our country, and I will continue supporting legislation in Congress to pave the way for more job creation and certainty in the private sector. Many of us know someone who owns or operates a small business, and I hope you’ll remember them next week during National Small Business Week. 

Feel free to contact my office if we can be of assistance to you or your family.
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