Serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business over the past four years, I’ve had the honor of advocating and fighting for Main Street.
This year on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2018, I hope Americans will celebrate the 30 million small businesses and the millions of workers they employ by shopping locally. This day is an incredible opportunity to support our local independent businesses during their most critical time of year.
In 2010, the Small Business Saturday campaign was launched to help small businesses that were hurting from the recession by boosting sales and encouraging shopping.
Every year since 2011, both chambers of Congress have introduced resolutions to recognize and promote Small Business Saturday as the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, I had the privilege of introducing a resolution to continue this tradition and recognize November 24, 2018, as Small Business Saturday, and support efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses. This day gives us an opportunity to refocus our efforts and reaffirm our commitment to helping small businesses thrive.
With 99 percent of all employers in the United States being small businesses, it’s critical we fuel this engine of job creation and innovation. By shopping small, Americans can stimulate our economy and support the two-thirds of net new jobs that small businesses produce.
In Ohio alone, there are 944,797 total small businesses that employ 2.2 million people, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) most recent data. With American Express reporting that 90 percent of consumers say that Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community, can you imagine the impact this day has had on Ohio alone? And, the impact that Small Business Saturday can have throughout our nation is huge.
The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express highlights this impact. The survey notes that last year, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at a variety of businesses, from restaurants to clothing stores to coffee shops, on Small Business Saturday.
When you reflect on these numbers, there is nothing ‘small’ about small business.
In my 22 years serving on the Small Business Committee, I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication small business owners put into their companies to get them off the ground and succeed.
The Committee has held hearings and roundtables to hear from entrepreneurs and talk through the joys and challenges of running a business. It has always been the mission of the Committee, as it must be for Congress, to offer solutions that will help grow businesses.
Further, the Committee has been working diligently with the Administration to reduce regulatory costs and burdens. In fact, for every new regulation issued, the Administration has eliminated 12, resulting in $33 billion in net regulatory savings over the last two years. American business owners should be investing in the American Dream, not squandering their resources on regulatory compliance.
To help amplify this effort, the Committee has an online resource called Regulatory Watch. This resource is for small businesses that want to participate in the regulatory development process, but do not have the time or ability to monitor federal agencies’ activities. The webpage is updated regularly to highlight proposed regulations that could impact small businesses, allowing owners the opportunity to submit comments, plan ahead, or simply better understand the process.
Monte Wiederhold, a small business owner from my home state of Ohio, said it best when he testified before our Committee this Congress about one-size-fits-all regulations impacting his business:
“Time and time again, this approach punishes small businesses, stifles competition, and overregulates an industry deregulated by design. Too often, these costly and burdensome regulations are advanced at the behest of corporate motor carriers, who use the legislative and regulatory process to gain competitive advantages over smaller operators like me.”
Fortunately for Wiederhold, our economy is on the uphill swing, with unemployment at an all-time low and small business optimism setting record highs.
This past June, President Trump signed the Small Business 7(a) Lending Oversight Reform Act, a bill I introduced to ensure appropriate oversight of the SBA’s flagship loan program and improve access to capital for small business owners. Getting a loan for a small business can be the difference between expanding their company and creating jobs or never getting off the ground. This was a huge win for small businesses and the workers they will hire because of it.
It’s important that we do all we can to help America’s entrepreneurs who not only dare to dream but dare to make those dreams a reality. On Small Business Saturday, I encourage you to get involved in your community, whether you are in Carson City, Nevada, or Cincinnati, Ohio, – my hometown – and shop small. Your support allows small business owners to continue to dream big, take risks, and drive innovation for the next generation of Americans.