California’s small businesses employ over 7 million people, and make up 95% of all businesses in this region. Most employ less than 100 workers, and businesses with 4 employees or less comprise 65% of the total, like our neighborhood grocery or restaurant. The problems I encountered running my small retail business are what first led me to run for public office.
Before the pandemic, business in California was booming. Now small businesses are suffering. Many have shut down, completely or partially, and thousands of workers have lost their jobs.
This session the Legislature adopted measures aimed at supporting businesses and helping workers keep their jobs. For example, I was proud to support SB 1447, which provides tax credits for businesses that hire new employees. But we need to do more. Going forward, we must look at unnecessary rules and regulations that don’t impact health and safety. We should consider ways to shield businesses from lawsuits over COVID-19 exposure, and provide a sales tax holiday so that businesses can lure back customers. The last thing we should be considering is increasing taxes on small businesses as they struggle to stay afloat.
Since joining the legislature, I have consistently supported repeal of unnecessary, burdensome regulations and opposed tax increases that would negatively impact business formation, worker retention and job growth. That’s one reason the National Federation of Independent Businesses recognized me as a “Guardian of Small Business” last year.
The pandemic’s economic fallout has been catastrophic for many small businesses. With that in mind, next session I will be looking at policies that support our small businesses, create more jobs and help restore California to its historic place as the economic engine that drives the national economy.