Creating an Environment That Works for Small Businesses
Small businesses play a vital role in communities across CD-04. These businesses and the entrepreneurs that run them create jobs, provide essential services, and contribute to the local tax base.
What can government do to help our small businesses in CD-04?
Reduce regulatory burdens
Government regulation costs small businesses, on average, $11,000 per employee every year. This is too much. We need a regulatory system that is efficient, intelligent, and helpful; one that eliminates overlap between agencies, cuts red tape, and reduces fees and penalties associated with regulation. Rather than playing a game of "gotcha!" with business owners, government regulators should be a resource for businesses that want to reduce costs associated with accidents and other operational expenses.
To dismantle our entire regulatory structure, as some extremists have demanded, would be irresponsible. We all benefit when chemicals are stored properly and waste is disposed of in a safe manner. Fewer workplace accidents mean lower operating costs and lower prices for consumers. Our communities should not have to sacrifice safety for economic development.
We need government regulations that help small businesses and their communities. We need smart regulations for smart businesses.
Adopt a two-tier minimum wage system
We need a minimum wage of $15 for large corporations and a lower minimum wage of less than $15 an hour for employees of small businesses.
In the typical small business, the business owner is the last person to get paid, if he or she gets paid at all. Yet the business still requires employees who must be compensated. A special Small Business Minimum Wage would allow small businesses to remain competitive while still encouraging job creation in local communities.
This type of system is already in place for some industries. Under current law, there are different wage requirements for restaurant workers, agricultural workers, and seasonal workers. A Small Business Minimum Wage would recognize the unique needs of this group of employers.
Small business owners would also benefit from raising the minimum wage for workers at large corporations like Walmart. Increasing the wage for these workers would mean more money in the local economy and more customers for local small businesses. For too long, Walmart and other giant corporations have relied on taxpayers to subsidize their payrolls through food stamps and other government programs. A $15 an hour wage would mean that Walmart workers would not have to depend on these government programs.
Move to a single-payer healthcare system
Why should small business owners have to worry about choosing and paying for an insurance plan for their employees? The average monthly per-employee cost of health insurance premiums for a small business is $1,121. In addition to this financial burden, small business owners spend too much time choosing and administering healthcare plans for their employees. Single-payer healthcare would relieve business owners of the task of having to administer an insurance program and would allow them to devote that time to doing what they do best – running their business.
CD-04 needs someone who will work with local, state, and federal officials to promote its riches while protecting its resources. We need someone who can serve as a link between small business owners, farmers, ranchers, and other entrepreneurs, and the agencies with which they work. We do not need someone who simply encourages conflict in order to score political points.