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Iowa’s small businesses are the backbone of our booming economy

GUEST VIEW

Our nation’s economy is booming. Last Friday’s jobs report far-exceeded anyone’s expectations, showing we added 263,000 jobs last month and unemployment is sitting at the lowest since 1969.

And at the backbone of it all? Our small businesses.

Just look at my home state of Iowa. 99 percent of our businesses are small businesses. With our state’s economy continuing to grow and unemployment among the lowest in the nation, it’s clear that our small businesses’ success is Iowa’s success.

These job creators in our state are leading the way by finding innovative solutions and creating new opportunities for our workforce.

Too often small businesses struggle to comply with some of the most costly and burdensome regulations that come out of Washington, D.C.

As a way to rein in these regulations and to foster a more thoughtful rulemaking process, this week I reintroduced my Prove It Act.

This bipartisan legislation gives the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy an opportunity to ask agencies to prove their regulatory analysis when proposing a rule that may be economically harmful to small businesses. It gives Iowa’s small businesses a voice in the rulemaking process.

One increasingly important component of our country’s labor market is women-owned small businesses.

Iowa ranks in the top ten for growth in employment and revenues in women-owned businesses. However, these businesses still face many challenges.

That’s why I recently introduced the Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act, which addresses the discrepancy in sole-source manufacturing contracts that puts women-owned small businesses at a disadvantage.

This bipartisan bill is a sensible and simple fix to help ensure all of Iowa’s small business owners get a fair shot to compete and to succeed.

Commonsense deregulation, coupled with tax reform, has helped fuel economic growth and has contributed to high levels of consumer and business confidence, but folks, there’s still work to be done.

While many of Iowa’s small businesses would love to provide their employees with the option of paid parental leave, it’s just too costly.

That’s one reason why I’m working with Senator Mike Lee on a proposal that would allow new moms and dads who work at one of these small businesses the opportunity to receive paid parental leave.

Mr. President, as a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee I’m excited to celebrate National Small Business Week, and to continue fighting for pro-growth policies and a regulatory system that encourages innovation and job growth, one where Iowa’s small businesses are heard loud and clear.

As I’ve said before, when Iowa’s small businesses are successful, Iowa also succeeds.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, delivered this speech during National Small Business Week, which is this week. Ernst, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, spoke on the Senate floor about the critical role Iowa’s small businesses play in our booming economy, and the legislation she is working to support these local job creators. This week, she re-introduced her Prove It Act, which gives Iowa’s small businesses a stronger voice in the federal rulemaking process. This bipartisan bill allows the small business community to send agencies back to the drawing board to “prove” that a rule or regulation won’t have a significant impact on small businesses.

Sen. Ernst also recently introduced a bipartisan bill with Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, to eliminate a discrepancy that puts women and veteran small business owners at a disadvantage. Her Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act, would ensure small businesses, regardless of the program they are certified under, have access to the same threshold of benefits in sole-source contracting.

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