AP NEWS

Supporting Our Neighbors

November 27, 2018

Anyone who has achieved their dream of running a small business knows that it didn’t come easily. It takes a relentless spirit, confidence to take great risks, and the foresight to anticipate consumers’ needs. Every day, small businesses across Nebraska turn on the lights at dawn and restock shelves after closing as they live out their entrepreneurial dreams. And our communities reap the benefits.

On Small Business Saturday, we joined in celebration of their contributions to our state and to our country.

It’s often said that entrepreneurs are the forgotten heroes of our economy. And it’s true. Yet if you look into the heart of our country, you’ll find them. Their advertisements won’t be on television or plastered on large billboards downtown, but they’ll be seen on baseball field fences and high school gymnasiums. These entrepreneurs and small business owners are more than profit-seekers, they’re the backbone of our communities. They support our local schools, churches, little league teams, and they help drive our country to a brighter future.

For nearly six years I have had the honor of working with small business owners across the Good Life. Last fall, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how several entrepreneurs in Norfolk are fueling their local economy. I visited with the owner of Roxi’s Bridal, who helps find the perfect dress for brides-to-be. I stopped in Tienda Leon’s and tasted some of the best tamales in the area. I admired the ukuleles at Midwest Music Center, where local students come to practice and play music. And I browsed through Norfolk Natural Market, where you can find healthy ingredients and take cooking classes. These small businesses are anchors of Main Street in Norfolk, and I loved getting a glimpse into their world.

When I travel throughout the Good Life visiting small businesses like these, I know that tax reform is working. Putting business decisions back into the people’s hands and providing incentives to invest, save, or take risks is ensuring a stronger future for our families.

Nebraskans are benefiting as tax reform has unleashed small business growth. People have more money in their pockets and continue to be presented with more opportunities to build their dream. Specifically, we’ve leveled the playing field for small businesses by providing many entrepreneurs with opportunity to deduct 20 percent on their profits. We also allowed for businesses to fully write off new investments for five years.

As Nebraska companies are raising wages, giving out well-deserved bonuses, and hiring more workers- job openings also continue to increase. In fact, the U.S. has created more than 2.1 million new jobs since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. The nationwide unemployment rate, according to the Department of Labor, reached 3.7% last month. It’s the lowest rate our country has seen in 49 years. With these meaningful results, it comes as no surprise that small businesses are confident.

There is still plenty of work to be done in Congress to help our small businesses. I’ll continue to fight to ensure that this optimism stays around.

When we choose to buy local, we allow the money spent in our communities to remain there. As we continue to check off our Christmas lists for our loved ones, I encourage you to support our neighbors by “shopping small” this holiday season.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you next week.

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