The backbone of our nation

by Tom Cole

Over the weekend on Small Business Saturday, Americans showed up as they do every year in support of local businesses. While the days and weeks following Thanksgiving are normally filled with starting or finishing up Christmas gift and holiday shopping, this year small businesses trying to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic are faced with the new challenges presented by the ongoing economic crises of rising inflation and a weakened supply chain.

Indeed, mom-and-pop shops and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy accounting for more than 99 percent of businesses across the country as well as for nearly half of our workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. And in Oklahoma there are approximately 362,364 small businesses employing an estimated 715,603 people, providing the opportunity for thousands of Oklahomans to achieve the American dream. As the driver of invention, innovation and new ideas, it is vital that an environment for small businesses and business owners to start up and succeed is fostered and maintained.

Sadly, America’s small businesses have been dealt some of the most devastating economic hits this year due to President Joe Biden and Democrats’ reckless spending. As we face record 31-year-high inflation, many businesses have been forced to increase their prices while millions of jobs remain unfilled and shelves continue to be empty due to the supply chain and labor crises.

To pay for their big government social spending bill, President Biden and Democrats are proposing $412 billion in new taxes on small businesses. This is extremely disappointing, especially after the president promised not to raise taxes on hardworking Americans. Also included in their social spending bill is what amounts to a “Made in America” tax that would drive business overseas and benefit competitors and bad actors, like Communist China. While small businesses are footing the inflation bill, our country’s current leaders are also planning to make business development and survival even more challenging.

In the days ahead, it remains vital that we support our Main Street businesses owned by our hardworking friends and neighbors and shop small. The small business community is comprised of our nation’s hardest working individuals. Their tireless dedication to running a small business does not go unnoticed. As you continue to holiday shop this year, I hope you will do what you can to support these businesses. And even if they do not have the supply, you can always buy a gift card for later use.

Comanche Times
United for Oklahoma - September