Recent Op-Eds

Our small businesses in South Dakota and across the country are the backbone of our nation's economy. They produce goods, provide services, and generate revenue that keep our economy growing, provide millions of Americans with quality jobs, and keep our nation highly competitive in the global community.

South Dakota has become known for its robust business climate, consistently ranking among the top states in the country to do business. With a fiscally responsible state government, no personal or corporate income tax, and an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, it is easy to understand why South Dakota continues to gain national attention for its healthy business environment.

While a low tax burden is an important start, most South Dakota small businesses depend on the support of consumers in their communities to keep their doors open. The loyalty and patronage of customers in small towns and in small businesses across the state inject money into local establishments, helping them to compete and provide a greater array of products and services.

Most people can recall a business in their community that donates to every fundraiser or sponsors a little league team every year. Local businesses not only contribute to local projects hoping their sponsorship will generate business, but they also contribute because they believe their contribution is important to improving the community. Whether they are employing our friends and neighbors, donating to annual food drives, or offering the “family” discount when times are tough, small businesses are truly the lifeblood of our South Dakota communities.

In Washington, I believe we must do more to provide certainty and support for our small businesses, which create 65 percent of new jobs. One of the most important things we can do for our small businesses is to make common-sense reforms to our tax code. Navigating the tax code is difficult enough for corporations with teams of Certified Public Accountants, and it is even more difficult for the vast majority of businesses in this country that are organized as pass-through businesses, which means they pay their taxes at the individual rates. In South Dakota, 93 percent of businesses pay their taxes at the individual rate. These individual operations expend time and money complying with a tax code that could otherwise be spent hiring new workers or reinvesting in their businesses. If we want businesses to grow, we need to fix our tax code for both corporations and pass-through businesses. I am eager to get to work with the new Republican majority in the next Congress to create an economic climate that encourages small businesses to expand and hire more workers.

As the holiday season kicks off, I encourage South Dakotans not to limit your small business patronage to Small Business Saturday. Remember to support your friends; support your community; and support small businesses by shopping local throughout this holiday season.