Congressman Hank Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Georgia

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As Nation Observes Small Business Week, Rep. Johnson Calls for More Help for Entrepreneurs

May 3, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— April 29 to May 5 marks National Small Business Week, when the country pays tribute to small businesses and entrepreneurs that fuel American prosperity. To mark the occasion, Rep. Johnson joined fellow Democrats in Congress to advocate for reforms that will help the nation’s 30 million small businesses. 

“I’m proud to voice my support for small businesses as we take this week to honor and celebrate their profound contributions to our neighborhoods, cities, and national economy,” said Rep. Johnson. “As the primary drivers of growth in our communities, small businesses exemplify America’s longstanding commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. From the mom-and-pop diner on Main Street to cutting edge startups, our national and local economies are defined by entrepreneurship.” 

More than half of Americans own or work for a small business, and small businesses are credited with creating two out of every three new jobs in the United States. However, Rep. Johnson argued that the policies under the Trump Administration have favored large corporations at the expense of small firms.

“Whether by passing a tax scam that will drain resources from local communities or by proposing sweeping budget cuts to small business development programs, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have left many small business behind,” said Rep. Johnson.  “During his time in the private sector, Donald Trump had a long history of shortchanging small companies that did business with him.  So, it is sadly unsurprising that, as President, he has consistently put his Wall Street friends over Main Street small businesses.”

Instead of rewarding entrepreneurs with a simpler and fairer tax code, the GOP tax scam eliminates key small business deductions, while favoring deep and permanent tax cuts for larger corporations. According to a poll from Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, small business owners do not expect the tax scam to help them grow their businesses or provide job opportunities. The poll found that due to the law, seven out of 10 small business owners say they will not hire new employees, six in 10 will not give their employees a raise, and over half say the tax scam favors big corporations over small businesses. Moreover, while Republicans have painted the tax scam’s pass-through deductions as a break for small firms, it has been reported that 61 percent of the benefit from the tax scam’s 20 percent deduction for pass-through income will flow to the top 1 percent of households in 2024.

“While Republicans in Congress are crafting massive corporate tax giveaways, too many small business owners across America are losing sleep over making ends meet,” said Rep. Johnson.  “Family-owned businesses deserve meaningful tax reform that will simplify the tax code, ease the burden on small firms and invest in creating jobs.”

Rep. Johnson also noted that the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have sought to cut funding for federal initiatives that benefit entrepreneurs. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) make up the largest network of assistance centers for aspiring entrepreneurs and include nearly 1,000 centers across the country. However, President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposed deep cuts to entrepreneurial development programs, including a $15 million cut to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).

“For many budding entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial development programs serve as a one-stop-shop for mentoring, contracting opportunities and access to capital,” said Rep. Johnson. “Instead of investing in economic growth, President Trump’s budget proposal slashes funding for the very programs that our nation’s job-creating small business rely upon.”

While the GOP moves to drain resources from Main Streets across America, Democrats are fighting for greater small business investments across the board. To this end, they have proposed A Better Deal to:

  • Increase workforce development programs by doubling federal support for registered apprenticeship programs. As of 2017, in the United States overall, middle-skill jobs account for 53 percent of the labor market, but only 43 percent of the country’s workers are trained at this level.
  • Secure a historic $1 trillion in federal investment to rebuild America’s infrastructure while creating over 16 million well-paying jobs.
  • Connect every American small business to high-speed internet, while engaging small firms to help build the necessary infrastructure.

“Our nation needs to make prudent investments in small businesses to promote growth and create economic opportunity for all Americans,” said Rep. Johnson. “By training our workers, we can help small firms meet their workforce needs. Through meaningful infrastructure reform, we can put small companies to work rebuilding our dilapidated roads and bridges. By expanding broadband, we will ensure small firms can reach new markets and customers around the world. It is time that America’s small businesses get what they deserve—A Better Deal.”

 

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