U.S. House Committee Examines Health of Nation’s Small Business Environment
Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business held its last hearing of the year, titled "A Year in Review: The State of Small Business in America." The committee heard testimony from four small business owners who described the factors contributing to their companies' successes and challenges, as well as the ways the federal government could help alleviate those struggles.
Problems and suggested solutions discussed repeatedly during the hearing include:
- Workforce shortages: Prioritize more funding for trades education programs so they can hire the best instructors. Make tuition for trades education eligible for more financial aid programs. Update the resources provided by the Small Business Administration and update trade school curriculum to reflect the realities of the modern economy.
- Childcare: Make high quality childcare options more affordable and accessible to give entrepreneurs the capital and flexibility needed to create businesses while also expanding the pool of prospective employees who also need childcare in order to participate in the workforce.
- Inflation and high interest rates: Rein in high government spending and other policies that diminish access to capital.
- Lack of affordable housing: Increase the housing stock. Change zoning laws to allow housing to exist in more areas.
- Artificial Intelligence: Regulate AI in a way that ensures it remains accessible to small businesses and not for the exclusive use of large companies.