The federal government is hindering the recovery of small businesses
It is a familiar refrain that small businesses are the backbone of the economy.
In Noblesville, Indiana, it really is. Located north of Indianapolis, our city is home to a dynamic mix of large and small businesses that make up the fabric of our community. We are doing everything we can to attract and promote these companies so that they can grow.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the small businesses that fill our city and the historic inner city square with life were disproportionately affected. At this point, the city of Noblesville quickly took action and worked with the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce to establish the Noblesville Small Business Resilience Grant program.
While these grants may seem small compared to the tremendous problems the country is facing, they provided much-needed short-term assistance that enabled small businesses to maintain their payroll, pay rent or utility bills, or even personal ones at a crucial time Buy protective equipment. They made a difference in keeping doors open and workplaces intact.
Neighbors coming together to support one another is a hallmark of communities like Noblesville, and we took pride in helping our small businesses when they needed us most. For this reason, it is disappointing that the very companies that our community sought to save are now facing an unexpected and man-made problem: misguided government policies.
Rather than jeopardizing their futures with government closures and health concerns, these small businesses are now increasingly at risk from a lack of staff to keep their doors open and runaway inflation that is driving costs up.
What I keep hearing from these small business owners is that despite their best efforts, they cannot find new employees willing to come to work while they are backed by additional federal unemployment benefits, which in many cases is more than they would get part-time workers. This unnecessary federal spending has impacted Noblesville’s bottom line and is holding back our recovery.
The effects of these expenditures can also be felt elsewhere. Last month it was reported that inflation in the United States was up over 5% year-over-year, the biggest increase since 2008. We see it every day: food prices are up over 30% and gas prices are up over 40%. . This is a hidden tax that increases the cost of Noblesville families and businesses who now find it more expensive to buy essentials that they use on a daily basis. In 2020, amid the pandemic, Noblesville announced over $ 145 million in public-private investments in downtown economic development projects. However, this investment has been delayed due to one key factor: inflation.
While several factors can affect prices and inflation, it seems hard to deny that federal legislation spending trillions of taxpayers’ money, with larger spending being considered in the near future, has made a significant contribution to the current situation.
While certainly well-intentioned, these federal measures have had a variety of unintended consequences that are striking here in Noblesville and in the cities and towns of our country. Just as our city intervened at the beginning of the pandemic to provide the urgently needed aid, the federal government has its own role to play in the end of the pandemic.
Noblesville will always do everything we can to support our employers, large and small. The federal government can also make its contribution by taking positive steps to reduce inflation and its causes, while at the same time ensuring that unemployment assistance policies are better tailored to the needs of workers.
Chris Jensen is the Mayor of Noblesville, Indiana.