The Republican Party Platform and Small Businesses

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On Monday, July 18, delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, adopted the 2016 Republican Platform, which, among other items, addresses the role of small businesses in the American economy.

In its platform, the Republican Party notes that entrepreneurs, independent contractors, and small-business owners “still create most new jobs and form the commercial network that holds communities together.”

The platform asserts that “we should reduce the occupational licensing laws that shut untold millions of potential workers out of entrepreneurial careers” and overturn financial and economic regulations affecting “the community banks and savings and loans that provide nearly half of all small-business loans and over three-quarters of all agricultural loans.

“As incubators of unconventional thinking, our country’s existing research infrastructure — the National Labs, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and elements of the Defense Department — have the potential to form partnerships with small businesses to create an American Start-Up Century,” the Republicans said.

Existing laws that delegate too much authority to regulatory agencies should be revisited, according to the platform, which states, “We are determined to make regulations minimally intrusive, confined to their legal mandate, and respectful toward the creation of new and small businesses.”

Addressing small business’ access to capital, the platform asserts that laws such as the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in response to the 2008–2009 recession, established unprecedented government control over the nation’s financial markets and resulted in a loss of jobs and a decline in the number of community banks.

“Community banks are essential to ensuring small businesses have easy and affordable access to the capital they need to grow and prosper. Community banks should be relieved of excessive regulations,” the RNC platform states. “We support removing roadblocks and regulations that prevent access to capital.”

Regarding healthcare, the platform called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, noting “we will empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools in order to expand coverage to the uninsured.”

Minimum wage, the platform says, “is an issue that should be handled at the state and local level.”

See the report on the Democratic Party platform’s small business provisions