Small Business Saturday: Investment in community

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Idaho’s 158,000 small businesses not only drive our economy, spur innovation and create jobs, they reflect the unique character of the state. Residents and tourists feel this each time they visit a local shop, buy an artisanal product or receive outstanding personal service. And on Nov. 24, we invite shoppers to honor their contributions by supporting Small Business Saturday.

Nationwide, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is recognized as Small Business Saturday — an opportunity to help independently owned shops compete with national chains, online retailers and big box stores. When consumers spend their holiday shopping dollars at locally owned small businesses, they are investing in their neighbors and building the communities they call home.

As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship and as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, we understand that small businesses are critical to America’s success. They create two out of every three net new jobs in the private sector and employ more than half of our nation’s workforce. That is why we have worked together under President Trump’s leadership to create an environment that fosters small business growth and encourages our nation’s entrepreneurs to take a risk on starting or expanding a small business of their own.

This is a terrific time for America’s 30 million small businesses. President Trump has advanced a pro-growth agenda, cutting costly, job-killing federal regulations that hinder small business growth. For every new regulation issued, the Administration has eliminated 12, saving businesses $23 billion in the latest fiscal year. Tax cuts are also saving small businesses money through lower rates and investment incentives, enabling them to put more money in their employees’ pockets through raises and bonuses. New initiatives are also helping make it more affordable for small businesses to offer healthcare coverage and offer more choices.

As a result of tax relief and regulatory reform, NFIB, previously known as the National Federation of Independent Business, reports a two-year streak of record-high levels of optimism among small business owners. In NFIB’s most recent monthly survey, small business owners report strong sales and say they plan to invest in their companies and hire more workers. Many are boosting wages as well — 34 percent say they are increasing compensation to attract and retain workers.

With higher paychecks and savings from lower taxes, consumers have more money in their pockets. A Conference Board survey shows consumer confidence is at the highest level in 18 years. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to increase this year to as much as $720 billion — an increase of about 4.5 percent over last year.

We encourage shoppers to invest their holiday shopping dollars in small businesses — on Small Business Saturday, and every day. Their support has driven the good economic news we’ve seen over the past two years and will continue to propel our economy forward.

• • •

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Linda McMahon heads up the Small Business Administration.

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