Working to Improve South Dakota's Small Businesses
By: Mike Rounds
South Dakota's small businesses play a critical role in strengthening our communities. They provide good-paying jobs, pay local property taxes and reinvest into the future of our state. When our small businesses succeed, our economy soars. The Senate recently passed a resolution designating the week of May 5-11, 2019, as "National Small Business Week." This is a time to celebrate the entrepreneurs who start their own businesses and acknowledge the impact small business owners have on communities across the country.
South Dakota provides a welcome environment for small businesses to thrive. We have low taxes and limited red tape to cut through. According to the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), South Dakota is the second most business-friendly state in the country. With no corporate or individual state income tax, business owners can keep more of the money they earn. We also have a number of different resources for business owners to grow professionally, including GOED, the Small Business Administration and local business groups in communities across the state that provide a network for entrepreneurs to connect with their peers and learn the best ways to grow their businesses.
In the Senate, we've been successful in advancing policies and initiatives that support a sustained and healthy economy. This includes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which resulted in tax cuts for nearly all Americans this year. It helped businesses by cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, taking the U.S. from one of the highest to one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. Tax reform helped small businesses by creating the first-ever 20 percent deduction for pass-through business income. It also repealed Obamacare's individual mandate which unfairly taxed families making less than $50,000 per year, doubled the standard deduction and doubled the child tax credit to $2,000. South Dakota families benefited from tax reform, and we're going to continue to promote policies that will make sure they can keep more of their hard-earned money.
We also had success in getting a major financial reform package signed into law last year. As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations and making sure local financial institutions are able to provide their customers with access to credit is a priority. The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which included a number of my provisions, rolled back costly, onerous regulations on small businesses, farms and ranches so they can focus on working for their customers instead of spending their valuable time, energy and resources cutting through red tape. I included a provision in the package that would make it easier for small-to-medium sized financial institutions to raise capital and grow, so they are better able to provide necessary capital to business owners in their communities.
In South Dakota, 99 percent of all businesses are small businesses. We're fortunate to be home to 85,000 small businesses that employ more than 200,000 South Dakotans. They play an important role in our state's economic success. One of the major challenges facing small businesses is excessive overreach by the federal government. Unnecessary rules and regulations stifle businesses from reaching their full potential and mire them in paperwork and extra costs.
The past two years have allowed us to make significant progress in rolling back federal overreach and allowing our economy to thrive and grow. I'll continue working to bring South Dakota common sense to Washington to make sure the federal government isn't interfering in the ability for entrepreneurs to be successful.
I encourage South Dakotans to visit a small business in their community during this year's National Small Business Week as a way to say thanks for making our state a great place to call home.