Over the last six years in Congress, I have been humbled to represent our families, businesses, and local governments in Central Arkansas. When I ran for Congress in 2014, I committed to working to lower taxes, create jobs, and grow the economy.
I know 2020 has looked different, as the novel coronavirus has swept across Arkansas and America, affecting our families and businesses. However, I have never stopped working for Arkansas and continue to fight everyday to support our small businesses – the drivers of our economy and the creator of jobs right here in Central Arkansas.
Small businesses drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. In Arkansas, over 99 percent of businesses are small businesses. Last year alone, they created over 10,000 net jobs for our state – which is why I was proud to support the CARES Act in part because it included the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP enabled more than 42,000 Arkansas businesses in getting nearly $3.4 billion of badly needed funding to get through the first weeks of the economic shutdown.
At the same time, making the PPP better for Arkansans is a priority, which is why I called for the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make it easier for business owners to obtain loan forgiveness. In May, I led a letter from 54 Members of Congress to the Treasury and SBA and was proud to join Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams in an op-ed in June calling on the same. I delivered success for Arkansas, as this program was recently streamlined.
COVID-19 has shown us that small businesses need leeway to remain flexible and nimble in order to quickly adapt to evolving circumstances. The wrong approach right now would be new regulatory restrictions from Congress, and that is why I am committed to continuing our success in rolling back regulatory red tape, maintaining low taxes for small businesses and limiting federal government mandates to ensure small businesses can thrive and keep operational costs low.
Rock Town Distillery in Little Rock is a good example of this. In April, after I alerted them, Rock Town started producing hand sanitizer in response to a lack of supply. They generously were giving it away for free. However, due to certain government regulations, Rock Town was still being taxed on the sanitizer even though they weren’t selling it. In response, I joined a Congressional letter urging this policy be overturned, and we were successful.
Democrats in charge likely will bring increased taxes on our families and businesses, increased red tape, and onerous compliance costs associated with additional federal mandates. These policies will lead to greater business inefficiencies and increased costs. If my opponent is elected, you can expect her to move in lock step with Speaker Pelosi and the rest of her Democrat colleagues to put each of these policies into action.
When I return to Congress, I will continue to push for small business relief, just as I have over the last six years. In fact, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which advocates for the rights of small and independent business owners, just awarded me their Guardian of Small Business Award based on my track record of helping small businesses and has endorsed my candidacy because they know that I always will fight for Arkansas’ small businesses and our families.
I am honored and humbled to serve as your Congressman, and I look forward to continuing to be a voice for small businesses of Central Arkansas.