As the leader of NFIB, I’m often asked what the difference is between a “small or independent” and “big” business. As NFIB members know well, there are significant differences, including how small businesses operate, the challenges they face, and the services they provide. More recently, though, when the question was posed about our impact on the community and in public policy, I responded, “Well, small business is big!”
And we are. Small and independent businesses’ role in today’s economy is significant. We account for about half the nation’s jobs and half of the GDP. More than 99 percent of all U.S. employers are small businesses.
The big role small businesses play in our culture, in the halls of Congress, and in state capitals is unparalleled. When Americans go to work or pay for services, food, and household goods, it’s likely they’re entering a small business, as evidenced by a recent NFIB survey that found 72 percent of Americans purchase goods and services from small businesses often.
Our involvement in government and shaping policy is big too. During our 75th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Fly-In this summer, NFIB members met with more than 150 legislators. More than 800 attendees heard from President Trump, who was joined by three cabinet officials. “This is truly an incredible organization,” he told attendees. “Together, you have been a powerful voice for America’s small businesses ….”
This is why lawmakers continue to look to NFIB to get the pulse of how small businesses will be affected by major decisions such as tax legislation and Supreme Court Justices—two topics that have dominated this summer.
Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, NFIB members have expressed near record levels of optimism and have put plans in place to increase hiring and wages. That’s why we welcomed the recent “Tax Reform 2.0” framework for legislation that promises to lock in the small business tax cuts that NFIB members fought so hard to secure. NFIB worked tirelessly through meetings on Capitol Hill and in the states, during our fly-in, and through research to ensure lawmakers understood the positive effects tax reform has on small business.
Our members know, first hand, how important the decisions a Supreme Court Justice makes about burdensome regulations can be. Brett Kavanaugh, who was most recently nominated to serve on the Supreme Court, consistently rules against agencies that overstep their bounds. As you well know, such a record helps to provide certainty for small business owners who ranked ‘Unreasonable Government Regulations’ as the second most serious problem in NFIB’s most recent Small Business Problems and Priorities report.
None of this would be possible without you. If it weren’t for small businesses serving in the community and speaking to elected officials, much of this progress would be unrealized. That’s anything but small. Small business is big.
Juanita D. Duggan