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Chairman Smith: “Help Wanted” Signs in Store Windows Are Small Business’s Cry for Relief in Biden Economy

June 02, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Signs reading “Going Out of Business” may soon begin appearing up and down main streets across America, as small businesses are increasingly preparing for a recession. For more than two years, small businesses have faced multiple crises that have left them with fewer workers, smaller inventories, and less income, whether it is skyrocketing prices, spiraling wages to stay competitive in the labor market, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, or rising interest rates.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after the May jobs report:

“No matter where you go in America, small businesses need help. The Ways and Means Committee has gone to main streets across the country to listen to working Americans about how the Biden economy has devastated their communities. They told us how families have to take a second job to pay the bills and that small businesses are struggling to hire workers, expand their businesses, keep products on the shelf, or in the worst-case scenario, have to shut down. Congress must be focused on providing relief from the Biden economy so that families, farmers, and workers can enjoy more of their hard-earned money and small businesses have the tools they need to expand, hire, and grow. An important step in that direction is the Fiscal Responsibility Act – legislation headed to the President’s desk that will help combat today’s inflation crisis by reining in reckless spending and lift more Americans out of poverty and into the workforce.”

Biden Economy Failing Workers & Small Businesses:

  • Unemployment rose from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent.
  • Yearly increase in hourly earnings (4.3 percent) is not keeping up with inflation (4.9 percent) or the 15.3 percent rise in prices since Biden became President.
  • Inflation has cost the average American family $10,000 already.
  • GDP grew only 1 percent in the first quarter of 2023, forecasting a possible recession later this year.
  • Majority of Americans (55 percent), including Democrats, think America is currently in a recession, according to Winning the Issues survey.
  • 1 in 6 retirees are considering returning to work and 55 percent of retirees who went back to work did so because they needed more money.

In Their Own Words: Small Businesses Are Struggling in President Biden’s Economy

At Ways and Means field hearings across the country, small businesses have testified how their families and small businesses are struggling under President Biden’s economic policies:

  • West Virginia – Ashley Bachman, mother of three and local restaurant owner: “Unfortunately, after COVID we have been hit with another crisis. The crisis of rising costs of everything…Our little restaurant has been bleeding money due to all the increased costs and I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to continue with the prices the way they are…” February 6, Field Hearing on the State of the American Economy: Appalachia
  • Oklahoma – Chuck Mills, owner and operator of his family’s manufacturing company: “The lack of workforce and supply chain issues, combined with inflationary pressures, have made this economy the most difficult economy I have dealt with in over four decades.” March 7, Field Hearing on the State of the American Economy: The Heartland
  • Georgia – Matt Livingston, owner of a small home construction business and family restaurant: “I’m not sure anything I could say will change the minds of those that believe this economy is thriving or it is the best that it has ever been. Anyone that has those beliefs obviously has not been to my small town.” April 21, Field Hearing on the State of the American Economy: The South