Author: Robin Reed
Arizona is home to more than 550,000 small businesses that employ an estimated one million workers and represent 44.5% of the state’s entire private workforce. This entrepreneurial spirit is what has allowed economic growth and prosperity to thrive both in the Grand Canyon State and around the country. Which is why you’re sure to hear politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, routinely celebrate small businesses as pillars of our local communities and the lifeblood of the economy.
Unfortunately, despite all of this, a handful of lawmakers on Capitol Hill are opting to choose politics over supporting the millions of men and women who make up our nation’s small businesses.
Any bill that seeks to raise taxes on investments that Arizona’s small businesses depend on to generate revenue and good-paying jobs is not a bill in the interest of the very people that drive Arizona’s economy. In fact, on an even larger scale, nearly 14,000 small businesses that employ over 11 million workers nationwide, also rely on these same investments that would be directly targeted as a result of a tax hike.
The economic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take on businesses here in Arizona, is far from over. In fact, as of August 2021, nearly 100,000 Arizonans remain out of work and filed for unemployment benefits. So why then are some politicians in Washington so hell-bent on implementing harmful policies that would only restrict and prevent future economic growth and recovery? Contrary to what some might have you believe, we are not going to tax our way out of this crisis, ultimately hurting the people we should be helping most.
According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business investment tax, if implemented, could result in losses of as many as 4.9 million jobs and $96 billion in annual net revenues nationwide. When you consider these potential catastrophic losses coupled with the number of Arizonans who are still in search of employment, it is clear that including this or any other small business investment tax in the upcoming $3.5 trillion spending bill, is a recipe for a financial disaster.
The investments that are under attack by partisan legislators are what helped keep local businesses afloat by providing them with the capital necessary to hire new employees, expand locations, and even at times keep staff on payroll amidst the economic shutdown that shook the world to its core for the better part of last year. Furthermore, this tax increase would also make it even more complicated for new startups to secure the necessary funding necessary to get off the ground and eventually as well as for local real estate development companies to construct affordable new housing units and properties.
As the President & CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona, we are committed to ensuring economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans as we work to advance Arizona as a leading player in the global economy. The success of Arizona’s small businesses is critical to the overall economic vitality and well-being of our state, which is why we are as committed as ever to advocating for policies that will help, not harm them in their economic recovery.
Arizona’s small business community is resilient, but it needs our help and support now more than ever. We are counting on our representatives that have traditionally supported small businesses to continue to show that support by opposing new business investment taxes that will harm small businesses throughout Arizona.
Robin Reed is the President and CEO of the Black Chamber of Arizona, Founder & Principal with EmFluent a corporate coaching and consulting company that focuses on leadership strategy and talent optimization. Robin is also a professional speaker and has spoken nationally and internationally on the topics of business development, sustainability and strategy execution.