Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, creating more than 70% of all new jobs in the United States. Congressman McHenry considers himself fortunate to have grown up in a household where he watched and learned as his parents built their business from the ground-up. Prior to serving in Congress, McHenry was a small businessman and understands the issues that affect the success or failure of these ventures. As Ranking Member on the House Committee on Financial Services, the Congressman continually seeks to support policies that will help small businesses thrive and foster new ideas.
Building upon his legacy as author of the original bill to legalize investment-based crowdfunding, which made it easier for businesses to raise capital and was included in the JOBS Act, Congressman McHenry introduced the Crowdfunding Amendments Act to raise the asset threshold for both established small businesses with consistent revenues and start-ups with the potential for growth. This legislation assists small businesses in gaining access to the capital needed to create jobs and spur innovation.
Small businesses are also impacted by the rising cost of providing health care to employees. Congressman McHenry supports common-sense solutions to offer alternative healthcare options for small businesses. During the 115thCongress, McHenry helped to pass the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which sought to provide more affordable health care options through Association Health Plans.
While lawsuit abuse increases the cost of healthcare, it also puts small businesses at risk of being named in frivolous lawsuits. As a result, small businesses are less willing and able to provide benefits and job security to employees.
Federal regulations are tilted in favor of big corporations, making it virtually impossible for small businesses to compete with larger entities. These small businesses need help, not complex regulations that make compliance expensive and time-consuming. Only by leveling the playing field can we help small business grow, prosper, and create jobs. That is why Congressman McHenry fully supports the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back harmful regulations that are overly burdensome on small businesses.
It is equally important to note that we are living through an extraordinarily difficult time where the adverse effects of COVID-19 are being felt in every facet of society. Small businesses are under great stress and many, through no fault of their own, were forced to close their doors permanently. As a result, Congress passed multiple pieces of legislation aimed at mitigating the economic damage.
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which was created as a part of the CARES Act and supported by Congressman McHenry, has been successful in providing immediate aid to affected businesses. In order to provide these loans to businesses around the country, the CARES Act allocated $349 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) specifically for PPP. As a modified version of the SBA’s 7(a) loan program, PPP offered federally guaranteed loans for small businesses to pay their employees and operating expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the loan was used for maintaining original employment levels, along with other predetermined costs, then the loan is eligible to be completely forgiven.
McHenry and his colleagues in Congress realized more funding would need to be allocated to PPP following its quick depletion mere days after applications first opened. In response, the Congressman supported the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to increase the overall funding for the PPP loan program by $310 billion. Specifically, $60 billion will be dedicated solely to small lending institutions.
As businesses fight to stay open, Congress has a duty to enact bipartisan solutions that will aid local economies to further our nation’s recovery. More than ever, small businesses are struggling to access capital in the uncertain marketplace. In March 2020, McHenry introduced the Relief for Small Businesses Through Micro-Offerings Act and Crowdfunding to Combat the Coronavirus Act. Micro-lending has a demonstrated track record for providing much-needed capital to entrepreneurs—often women and minorities—in underbanked communities, helping them start and grow their businesses.Small businesses are, and remain, the backbone of our economy and a tenant of the American dream. Congressman McHenry believes Congress can rebuild our economy through regulatory reform and pro-growth policies. Americans have done this before and can do so again.