As a small business owner, the government shutdown has caused much anxiety with no clear resolution in sight. I had the opportunity to speak with Representative Nydia Velazquez, Chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business, about her vision for small business in 2019 and her thoughts on the government shutdown.
Why Small Businesses Need the Government Shutdown to End
With the government shutdown still ongoing, entrepreneurs are losing out on affordable capital through the Small Business Administration (SBA). It’s imperative that the government shutdown ends so that the SBA can continue its lending and contract-assistance programs for small businesses. The House has passed legislation to reopen the government by providing funding to agencies like the SBA. As a small business owner myself, I encourage President Trump to end the shutdown and allow our small business sector to continue thriving.
Representative Velazquez’s Vision for Small Business in 2019
To strengthen the SBA’s flagship programs that address capital and federal contract opportunities, the Chairman has authored several bipartisan reforms for the new congressional legislative session. Her bill, the Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act, and the Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act, which protects small businesses that do business with the federal government.
A big focus of Chairman Velazquez’s vision for small business includes tackling the barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from starting and growing their business. As a result, the federal government should invest in telecommunications and rural broadband access, find solutions to the student debt crisis, expand health care, push back against restrictive immigration policies, and simplify the tax code.
What Upholding a Committee Role Has Taught Chairman Velazquez
Over the years, as the most senior Democrat and first Hispanic woman to Chair a full committee in the House, Chairman Velazquez has learned the value in reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions that will benefit small firms across the country. By working together with Republicans and Democrats alike, the Committee has a strong track record of success, and the Chairman looks forward to continuing this work as they tackle the challenges facing small businesses today.
Advice for Starting and Growing Small Businesses
Chairman Velazquez highly recommends utilizing the services provided by the SBA, which works with a variety of local partners in every state and territory to connect entrepreneurs with mentorship, training, and other resources crucial to starting a business. By utilizing these resources, entrepreneurs can navigate the waters of starting and running a small business more efficiently and make connections that will help them grow and scale.
How Free Enterprise Can Work with Doing Good
By encouraging the growth of Main Street businesses, entire communities can benefit as small businesses are known to become a gathering place. Chairwoman Velazquez’s belief is that by strengthening community relations, businesses can become a force to be reckoned with for giving back, whether it’s by organizing charity drives, sponsoring the local baseball team, or donating to local causes. Because of this, it’s essential that small businesses continue to grow and thrive.
Taxation and Capitalism Versus a More Socialist Economy
Meaningful tax reform is essential for Main Street businesses, and tax simplification bills like the Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act introduced by Representative Velazquez and Ranking Member Steve Chabot from Ohio are steps in the right direction. The bill aims to meet the needs of workers in the sharing economy by increasing tax compliance assistance for micro-entrepreneurs.
What Business Owners Can Do for Their Country
Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy, employing over half of all private sector employees and generating two-thirds of net new jobs. In economically distressed areas, small business owners can help revitalize entire communities, making it a win-win for local areas and the national economy. By continuing to support small businesses, we can all pave the way for a more prosperous future.
Representative Nydia Velazquez’s perspective, as the Chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business, provides valuable insight on how the government shutdown affects small business owners. Her vision and leadership show that there is hope for small business growth, even in the midst of economic uncertainty. By utilizing the services provided by the SBA, advocating for tax reform and simplification, and investing in rural broadband access and community relations, we can ensure that small businesses continue to thrive. Above all else, ending the government shutdown and allowing the SBA to continue with its lending and contract-assistance programs is critical to ensuring that small businesses have access to the resources they need to succeed.