The Democratic Party Platform and Small Businesses

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This past weekend, at the Democratic Party Platform Committee Meeting in Orlando, Florida, a national platform was finalized that promises to tackle antitrust violations, increase the federal minimum wage, and pursue single-payer healthcare. The draft platform still must be ratified at the Democratic National Convention, set to begin on Monday, July 25, in Philadelphia. At press time, the Republican Party was still deliberating over its 2016 national platform in advance of the GOP convention, which will begin Monday, July 18, in Cleveland.

In regards to antitrust issues, the Democratic platform draft notes that large corporations have concentrated control over markets to a “greater degree than Americans have seen in decades.” To counter this, the party said that it would take steps to stop the concentration in “any industry where it’s unfairly limiting competition. We will make competition policy and antitrust stronger and more responsive to our economy today, enhance the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, and encourage other agencies to police anticompetitive practices in their areas of jurisdiction.”

The Democrat Party also tackled access to capital, stating that it aims to “make it easier to start and grow a small business in America. We will open up access to credit because we know that small businesses are some of the best job creators in our country. By supporting small businesses, we can grow jobs faster in America. Democrats also realize the critical importance of small business to women, people of color, tribes, and rural America and will work to nurture entrepreneurship.”

Promises to increase the minimum wage to “at least” $15 per hour and provide workers with the right to join a union are also included in the platform. “We applaud the approaches taken by states like New York and California,” the draft stated. “We should raise and index the minimum wage, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy…. Democrats support a model employer executive order or some other vehicle to leverage federal dollars to support employers who provide their workers with a living wage, good benefits, and the opportunity to form a union.”

The platform also features a renewed call for universal health care, noting that “health care is a right, not a privilege, and our health care system should put people before profits…. As part of that guarantee, Americans should be able to access public coverage through Medicare or a public option.”

Watch for a report on the Republican Party platform’s small business provisions in an upcoming issue of BTW.