Small Businesses

The American Dream – we’ve all heard the stories about how entrepreneurs start in garages and college dorms or with a soda stand on the corner and, with hard work, determination, and a bit of luck, they eventually achieve success. This narrative gives hope to entrepreneurs everywhere, but the reality can sometimes be quite different. Even before the pandemic, the rate of new businesses creation was down from pre-recession levels. In January 2021, the US Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey showed more than half of small businesses expect long-term challenges from COVID-19. Small businesses are the beating heart of every community, helping ensure innovation and fair competition. In Northern Virginia, small and especially women and minority-owned businesses are struggling. To create an equitable playing field for American entrepreneurs, we must: 

  • Pass Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act which calls for $17.9 billion in investment in low-income and minority communities hit hardest by COVID-19
  • Expand opportunities to provide much-needed connections and capital for minority-owned businesses (e.g., by expanding Minority Business Development Agency funding)
  • Protect and increase funding for Community Development Financial Institutions which put community benefit over shareholder profits
  • Create incentives (matching funds, tax breaks) for states to create new and revamp existing self-employment and small business programs 
  • Build up necessary wraparound services and support to ensure that people of color and workers transitioning away from oil and natural gas industry can enter and succeed in emerging industries such as clean energy 
  • Address big tech dominance in the digital space to level the playing field for aspiring small online business owners
  • Pass a national Internet Bill of Rights

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