Op-ed: Supporting small business growth through advocacy

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Written by Tami Wilson, vice president of public affairs for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

At the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber), our mission is to promote and support the development of strong businesses and a vibrant economy in the Northern Kentucky region through leadership and advocacy, resulting in a better quality of life for all. As vice president of public affairs, I’m privileged to advocate in Frankfort and Washington, D.C., for our 1,700 member companies, comprised largely of small businesses.

While we recognize the many contributions of small businesses throughout National Small Business Month, the NKY Chamber strives to celebrate, advocate and support Northern Kentucky’s small businesses all year round. Small businesses not only create jobs and add to our local, state, and national economies but also add to our community’s culture and vibrance.

While working with small business owners, I’ve learned that they often begin through entrepreneurship. In doing so, they face obstacles and challenges that sometimes have them questioning their choices, whether it’s a recession, pandemic, burdensome regulations, supply chain issues, or workforce shortages. That’s why we need policymakers in Kentucky and Washington to support our small businesses with common-sense policy and regulatory reforms.

Earlier this year, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation benefiting Kentucky’s 360,000 plus small businesses. One such measure we supported was embedded in House Bill 360 and House Bill 5, establishing an electable pass-through entity tax allowing small business owners to optimize the state and local tax deduction on their federal income tax returns. This provision will reduce many small business owners’ federal income tax burden.

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Another is House Bill 264. This legislation encourages innovation for start-up businesses. The General Regulatory Sandbox Program allows individuals or businesses to temporarily suspend all or parts of identified regulations to test new ideas, products, services, and business models while bypassing portions or all regulations inapplicable to their innovative idea.

We thank and appreciate the NKY legislators who supported these measures.  

At the center of every small business or entrepreneur’s success story is the ability to innovate and use all available resources to the best of their ability. In today’s hyperconnected, digital world, small business resiliency has often depended on technology. Technology enhances virtually every business aspect. Automations free up time, online storefronts and payment processors increase sales without spending money on a physical store, social media captures attention and helps reach new customers, and digital advertising markets products and services to the right people.

In fact, according to the US Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center, even at the earliest stages of a small business’ life, 85% of small businesses report that technology platforms helped to get their businesses up and running, and 94%—nearly all small business owners surveyed—report that technology allows them to run their businesses more efficiently.

As important technology regulation discussions on consumer data privacy, cybersecurity, and national security, gain momentum on Capitol Hill, the NKY Chamber encourages lawmakers to be mindful that technology is the engine of innovation that propels small businesses forward, fuels their growth, and enables them to compete in challenging economic conditions and constantly evolving and growing markets. Small businesses may only start, grow, and succeed with the right policies in Kentucky and our nation.

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Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Northern Kentucky, and the NKY Chamber is honored to advocate for your needs in Frankfort and Washington. For more information on what the NKY Chamber is working on to benefit our members and the business community, visit www.nkychamber.com/advocacy or contact Tami Wilson, VP of Public Affairs, at 859-380-6007 or [email protected].

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