Small Businesses need more policy discussion beyond taxes

Majority of small business owners say more customers would actually support their businesses

Washington, DC - With small businesses finally seeing some airtime in the Democratic Debate last night, Deputy Director for the Main Street Alliance Stephen Michael had this to say:

"Last night’s debate finally saw some discussion around small business policies. But focusing on the narrow issue of taxes, as framed by the moderators, cuts off discussion of the broader policies that would actually support small businesses. 

In framing their question, the NBC moderators characterized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as good for small businesses, when in fact consolidation, monopolization and giant corporations not paying their fair share of taxes, has meant small businesses are being squeezed in the marketplace and cut out of government support and access to capital. 

According to surveys with over 1,800 small business owners, when asked what they need most to create jobs and strengthen the economy, more than half of the business owners who responded said above all, they need more customers, not lower taxes or fewer regulations. Fewer than 1 out of 3 of the respondents called for lower taxes, and 75% felt corporations are not paying their fair share.

Focusing on tax cuts as the only small business issue betrays the vast range of policies that would actually support entrepreneurs on the ground. From increased access to capital, to resources and training, to portable benefits to support entrepreneurs taking the leap. 

It makes sense why two-thirds of small business owners want the tax cut corporations received from the law—from 35% to 21%—to be partially rolled back to fund policies that will help small firms like investments in portable benefits such as paid leave, child care and health care.

Many candidates understand tax fairness will support small businesses, but we need to think bigger than taxes if we truly want to support our entrepreneurs.