Recent Op-Eds

Local Businesses Deserve Our Support

By Senator John Thune

November 22, 2013

Throughout the year, communities across South Dakota rely on the generosity of their local businesses. Whether asked to sponsor the local softball team, contribute to the community fireworks show, or support the homecoming parade, we expect local businesses to rise to the occasion and support developments, projects, and student organizations. While these businesses are typically among the first to step up and meet community needs, the conscious decision to shop local is what keeps their doors open and their businesses stimulating our local economies.

The lagging economy and rising health care costs have made the economic climate particularly difficult for many small businesses. This uncertainty has led to revenue and job loss, and many small businesses wonder how they will weather the economic storm. The hope for any small business during the holiday season is that members of their community will first choose to shop local for their holiday gifts. The loyalty and patronage of customers to small businesses across the state injects money into local establishments, helping them to lower prices and provide a greater array of products and services.

In Washington, I believe we must do more to provide certainty and support for our small businesses, which are the primary source of job creation in our country. Small businesses in South Dakota and across the country continue to struggle under the weight of ObamaCare mandates. According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey earlier this year, nearly four in 10 small business owners are holding back hiring because of costs associated with implementing ObamaCare. Instead of putting up more roadblocks preventing small businesses from expanding and creating jobs, we should be working to provide certainty by repealing ObamaCare and starting over with common-sense reforms that actually reduce health care costs for businesses and families alike. 

While Congress has much work to do when it comes to providing regulatory relief for small businesses and creating an economic climate that encourages businesses to expand and hire, the best way for South Dakotans to help small businesses is to shop local. 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.