It’s time to end the war on small businesses

Phyllis Hunsinger

Even as Americans recently celebrated their declaration of independence and the war that freed them from the tyrannical rule of England, another war rages on in the United States. The war on small businesses hasn’t been officially declared, but the evidence of aggression is on full display.

After an amazing economic comeback over the last three years, small businesses were beginning to flourish. But that was before two shots fired across the bow engaged small businesses in a fight for their very existence.

The first blow to small businesses was by an unseen invader. COVID-19, now a common term in our lexicon, became a part of American lives.

Many states implemented draconian efforts to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Governors issued executive orders declaring big box stores, grocery chains, liquor stores and even pot shops as essential. Remaining businesses were classified as non-essential and their employees cast away as non-essential workers. Across the United States, small businesses were closed for weeks. They’re still restricted in how they’re allowed to operate.

Small business owners operate on limited budgets. They don’t have the reserves to keep employees on the payroll if the business closes. Closing any business, even for a relatively short period, is devastating. But for a small business, it often results in the demise of that venture.

The second blow to small business was the social unrest by groups of individuals bent on shredding the fabric of our nation. In some large city neighborhoods, the destruction of small businesses by breaking windows, defacing buildings and stealing merchandise by out of control, non-resident mobs was devastating. Many of these small business owners had their life savings in their businesses. They were left with the destruction of their properties. Some business owners will never reopen. Other business owners will make the costly decision to relocate.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive innovation and competitiveness while generating 44 percent of all economic activity. Small businesses play a collectively big role in the economy and must be protected from governmental overreach whether in response to a pandemic or other significant events.

Pay attention to political issues in 2020. Some people fail to understand the role small businesses play in the well-being of the economy. These same people desire additional taxation and regulation to implement large government programs. Whenever taxation and regulation become excessively burdensome, small businesses go out of business. Does this sound like killing the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg?

When government arbitrarily declares businesses must close in the name of protecting citizens from COVID-19 while at the same time fails to protect life, liberty and property, it’s blatantly obvious government doesn’t have the answers. Whenever the rule of law is diminished and civil authority is complicit with riotous lawbreakers and whenever producers face onerous taxes and regulations, society in general and the economy in particular suffers.   

Speak up and be counted before it’s too late. Protect 44 percent of the economy.

Stop the war on small businesses.

Phyllis Hunsinger is founder of the Freedom & Responsibility Education Enterprise Foundation in Grand Junction. The foundation provides resources to students and teachers in Western Colorado to promote an understanding of economics, financial literacy and free enterprise. For more information, visit www.free-dom.us.com. A former teacher, principal and superintendent, Hunsinger wrote “Down and Dirty: A ‘How To’ Math Book.” Reach Hunsinger by email at phyllis@free-dom.us.com.