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In recognition of this year’s National Small Business Week (April 28 – May 4), the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) hosted Small Businesses Matter: A Bipartisan Agenda for 2024 and Beyond. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), in 2023 small businesses accounted for 46% of private-sector employment in the U.S. and made up 99% of all businesses and are the backbone of the economy. An expert panel and guest speaker Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) joined the BPC to discuss what small businesses need now and what policies will support them.

Inflation, restricted access to capital, regulatory compliance, technology, and the workforce shortage were the major talking points covered in the small business panel. Artificial intelligence (AI) was called “the great equalizer” for small businesses, allowing these businesses to compete with larger companies. According to the US Chamber, almost one in four small businesses have adopted AI, marking them as innovators in the field. The technology allows them to improve their communications and marketing and analyze data and research faster. For more visit here.

Some of the policies covered by the panel were:

  • Corporate Transparency Act (CTA): It is intended to help prevent money laundering and tax fraud, but it is a labor-intensive reporting requirement that is challenging for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees to comply with. On January 1, 2024, small businesses were required in a new rule to report on this to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing businesses have until the end of 2024 to file. For more on what ACEC is doing see the CTA Coalition letter here.
  • R&D Tax Credit: Starting in the 2022 tax year, companies can no longer immediately deduct their R&D costs but must amortize these costs over five years. Small businesses rely heavily on the R&D tax credit and are known for reinvesting that money back into their businesses and hiring more people.
  • Main Street Tax Certainty Act: A bipartisan effort to keep the passthrough deduction from expiring in 2025. It would extend Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code continuing the 20% deduction for qualified businesses. For more on ACEC’s involvement see Joint Trades letter here.
  • Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA): The RFA was amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) and is intended for agencies to be mindful of the unique challenges of small businesses when imposing regulations.
  • Basel III: Basel III is a set of banking regulations that has a proposed compliance date of July 1, 2025. It is unknown what that will mean for the cost of a small business loan.

Sen. Mullin joined a fireside chat to discuss workforce development. As a former licensed plumber and small business owner, Mullin commented that we don’t have a workforce that is ready to go to work at age 18. He insisted that development for trades in particular need to be offered in high school and not after because it delays joining the workforce for several years. He also had an interesting perspective on the recent M&A activity, noting that companies are buying each other because they need employees. In other words, much of the recent flurry of M&A activity is firms buying their workforce.

Speakers included: Market Manager for Chase Business Banking/ JPMorgan Chase & Co. Sheila Jones Holm; Prosperity Now President & CEO Marisa Calderon; Elizabeth Milito, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business’ Legal Center; U.S. Chamber of Commerce VP for Small Business Policy Tom Sullivan; and Sen. Mullin.

For more information, you can download the Small Businesses Matter, A Bipartisan Policy Agenda for 2024 and Beyond.


May 3, 2024



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