Recently I had a conversation with a very successful small business owner I have known for a long time that really shook me. I learned his sales are now down 80% during the latest surge of the pandemic . He said,
The virus is killing us. People are scared.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s sales increased 40 percent in the second quarter alone, while their stock price increased 97 percent. Apple hit a $2 trillion market cap, the first publicly traded company to do so, and reported nearly $60 billion in revenue. Since the pandemic began, Facebook’s stock rocketed up 85 percent, Google’s by 50 percent, Netflix by 63 percent, and Microsoft by 57 percent. All saw their revenues greatly increase compared to last year’s numbers as well. [Source: How Big Government Stacked the Deck Against Small Business}. And of course the stock market has reached all-time highs.
Small businesses though are struggling around the country. Nearly 1/3 of all small businesses have closed in New York and New Jersey in 2020. And the national average for small business closures this year is nearing 30% according to a Harvard run database, TracktheRecovery.org. The database shows that the number of small businesses open in Iowa are down 29.3% as of November 25, 2020, and we are unfortunately trending in the wrong direction at this time.
Iowa and other parts of the country did see an uptick in small businesses open after the stimulus checks started in April earlier this year. But with our government bogged down will help be on the horizon as the down-turn continues? To be candid, large corporations are not the actual culprit for small business problems. It is our government. Government has stacked the deck against our small businesses. Our government arbitrarily determines which businesses are essential, and which businesses must close. In one video I saw on Twitter, a small business owner in California was forced to close her bar and outdoor patio, while a large movie company directly across the parking lot was permitted to operate with numerous tents and chairs that were exactly like the set-up of the bar owner’s outdoor patio! Iowa’s government has engaged in similar decision-making. There is often no rhyme or reason for why a business may stay open and why a business must close. But what we do know, is that our government has not forced our large businesses to shut down.
Another problem is our federal government continues to favor big business over small business even when it tries to provide relief to ordinary folks. Our federal government provided incentives, handouts, and other pork in the CARES Act that continued to favor big business. Twenty-five percent of the initial $2 trillion (remember, those are your tax dollars) went to big business, with $58 billion going to the airlines alone and another $17 billion to the military-industrial complex giant, Boeing. Only $350 billion was earmarked for small businesses, and of that, $243 million “accidentally” went to large companies instead – leading some companies to return the money over the ensuing outrage. And recently we learned that businesses owned by President Trump and the Kushner family received $3.65 million in PPP loans intended for small business. All in all, only 5 percent of the first round of PPP loans reached small businesses.
What can we do? We must demand and advocate that our federal and state governments take care or our small businesses and ordinary Americans. Email and call your government leaders and representatives. They must act now. Before it is too late.