Standing up for small business
During these very difficult times, there is a delicate balance between protecting public health while ensuring that the mass closure of businesses doesn’t trigger a recession — or worse. But are governments taking too hard of a stance against small business?
The world is almost one year into the worst pandemic in a century. To date, over one million people globally have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus. As we speak, countries grapple with staggering caseloads that threaten to collapse national healthcare systems — one of the crown jewels of the social safety net of any western social democracy.
But this pandemic has also wreaked havoc on small businesses which — in many cases — are the foundation of local economies. To date, a whopping 60 percent of U.S. businesses that were forced to close their doors have done so permanently. The numbers from Canada are no less reassuring: 1.14 million businesses (including restaurants and small stores) are feeling rather bearish about their chances of a successful recovery. According to an October 29 report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 37 percent of businesses across Canada have stated that they are losing more revenue for each day they are open.
If you are in any way concerned about the potential repercussions mass business closures could have on the North American economy, no doubt you share the same sentiments and are dismayed by these numbers.
Back in the spring when governments across the world were scrambling to find ways to slow down and outright stop the spread of this virus, many small businesses had no other choice but to temporarily close. When the first wave had passed, there was a slightly renewed sense of optimism amongst small business owners that perhaps they could recoup their losses.
The second wave of economic deprivation and hardship
Sadly, as a second wave makes its unwanted appearance, many business owners who were already struggling to make ends meet may very well see their livelihoods permanently destroyed.
In all likelihood, you’re no more of a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist than I’m a ballet dancer. Still, the fact that various provincial and state governments have in many cases attacked small businesses while giving multinational corporations free rein to operate as they wish raises some legitimate red flags, as though governments and big business were in cahoots to destroy the little guy.
Small business owners strike back
As the screws tighten against businesses in the hospitality and wellness industries, a growing number of business owners have defied local ordinances and kept their establishments running. One such businessman is Larry McNamer of San Diego County, California, who has continued to stay open even though the county prohibited indoor dining on November 14. Just in case you weren’t aware, California governor Gavin Newsom has thumbed his nose at the Golden State’s already beleaguered small business community. To date, several business owners have received steep fines for defying these orders.
Right now, a storm is brewing in the Great White North surrounding the arrest of restaurateur Adam Skelly. The owner of Adamson BBQ, a popular Toronto Texas-style eating establishment, had gone against the stringent lockdowns in Ontario’s Toronto and Peel regions. Earlier today, hundreds protested outside Adamson BBQ as Mr. Skelly was led away by officers of the Toronto Police Service charged with ‘attempting to obstruct police.’
Without small business, governments will not last
Why exactly are governments making it so difficult for small business owners? While major corporations have no loyalty to any one country and frequently move to avoid taxes and employ cheap labor in developing nations where labor and safety codes are minimal at best, businesses with roots in our communities not only employ their friends, family members, and neighbors, they also serve as bulwarks of their communities.
Politicians who stupidly go along with the corporate agenda but who will be scraping for tax dollars in the years to come as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic should be advised that most people are employed by small and medium-sized businesses.
And one thing is certain: the numbers don’t lie. In the United States alone, small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, 49.2 percent of private-sector employment, 42.9 percent of private-sector payroll, 46 percent of private-sector output, 43 percent of high-tech employment, 98 percent of firms exporting goods, and 33 percent of exporting value. This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau, SUSB, CPS.
I think you would agree that small businesses are a very crucial component not only of our economy but our society as a whole. Hopefully, those who’ve been forced to close their doors during this pandemic will be able to reopen them.
Chris is a professional freelance writer. He uses his expert knowledge, skills, and personal experience in writing about such topics as real estate, travel, fitness, politics, and digital marketing to create innovative, entertaining, and engaging content for his clients. He writes for Medium, TravelPlus, ThriveGlobal, The Canadian Firearms Journal, and more. His specialty is writing articles and books as well as copywriting and editing and proofreading.
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