Letter to the Editor: Federal Anti-Competition Policies Would Hinder the Growth and Innovation of Small Businesses

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Letter to the Editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for many Californians to pivot and embrace entrepreneurship. I know because I’m one of them.  The isolation, social distancing, and other restrictions the pandemic thrust upon us in many ways made creating an online business model a critical tool to survive.

Tech became a pathway to thrive for small business owners like me, opening equitable access to affordable tools that allowed us to reach hundreds of consumers. But, if certain members of Congress have it their way, restrictions will be placed on the free and open internet and thousands of small businesses in California will have irreparable harm thrust upon them by being forced to go backwards.

Indeed, technology and innovation have improved lives and supported the nation’s economy. In California, the technology sector has an estimated economic impact of $519.5 billion on the state’s economy.

Storefronts and online businesses alike have leaned into technology to bolster their business. Nearly 60 percent of the state’s small businesses plan to use more digital tools largely because of the new post pandemic normal.

Milano
Burbank Chamber
BWP LIRAP

The opportunity for my business to provide an online option has improved my livelihood tenfold by being able to invest back into my business, give back to my community, bolster the local economy, and help my customers. And I am part of more than 70 percent of California’s small businesses that have increased their use of digital tools during COVID-19.

Some lawmakers in Congress are considering restrictive anti-competitive policies that would hinder innovation and stymie my business growth. Limiting the tech industry’s ability to continue innovating would also limit cost-effective, and market-relevant avenues for small business owners to reach their stakeholders.   

As written, these bills could hamper the ability of small business owners, who played a key role in keeping Americans connected throughout the pandemic, from creating new jobs and supporting our economic recovery, while eliminating access to key services. Misguided proposals could derail the economic recovery of small businesses.

Our leaders must consider the unintended consequences of the latest proposed legislation. America’s small business and start-up economy is especially at risk as it relies on technology to reach consumers and market products. On behalf of small business owners who rely heavily on technology to reach consumers, I urge California policymakers to protect entrepreneurs like me by preventing any regulations on technology.

Kyle Fasano
Burbank