What State’s Small Businesses Need Now
Evers has a plan businesses support, but needs legislative cooperation for full impact.
Small business owners, workers and communities across Wisconsin support the Badger bounceback budget put forward by Governor Tony Evers. Here’s why.
First, it prioritizes Main Street Wisconsin with $200 million in additional support, on top of the $600 million of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan. Some businesses were able to pivot and depending on the sector some did just fine. For others, the past year has been devastating. For example, wedding venues. You can’t “pivot” if your entire business model is bringing people together for large group events. Many business owners I know worked incredibly hard to retain staff, pay their rent or mortgage, and keep things afloat.
Second, the Assembly and Senate majority must prioritize Badgercare expansion, with a public option. If you survey small business owners, the cost of health care again and again is their main concern. Small business owners want to provide high quality health insurance but with margins so thin for many Main Street businesses it is hugely difficult to do so. Having an option for lower earners, as well as an option to “buy in” for middle class folks would help tremendously and allow small businesses to invest in their workforce, expand their business and do more for the community.
Every other legislature in the Midwest has taken the federal Medicaid expansion. It makes our state less competitive not to do so. Importantly, Wisconsin would receive $1.6 billion dollars in tax savings, which could be spent on other priorities such as roads, broadband, schools or other important investments if we take the expansion. Saying no is becoming more expensive every day and we call on the Legislature to take the Badgercare expansion without delay.
There is still more work to do but if we’re going to complete the Badger bounceback we need to make these critical investments in our small businesses, our health care system and our families. Let’s come together and get it done.
Shawn Phetteplace is the State Manager for the Main Street Alliance-Wisconsin chapter. Founded in August of 2019, MSA-WI is a fast growing small business advocacy group working on healthcare, child care, paid family medical leave and COVID relief policy.
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.