Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Boosting Opportunity

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Boosting Opportunity
By Rep. Kristi Noem
August 21, 2015

South Dakota is a small business state.  Drive through nearly every town and the main street will be lined with family-owned businesses – the café, the grocery store, the seed dealer, the hair salon, you name it.  It’s part of what makes South Dakota so great to live in.  We can do business with people we know, and that’s a rare thing in today’s world.

My own family has run small businesses throughout our lives.  We’ve built up a family farm, managed a restaurant, even opened a hunting lodge at one point. Those experiences have given me an understanding of the challenges small businesses face in getting the word out about what they have to offer.  And doing so efficiently when margins are tight is imperative.

That’s why I was proud to work with the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and Facebook for a “Boost Your Business” event earlier this month.  I wanted it to be another tool to help level the playing field so growing South Dakota businesses can better compete in their communities and across the globe.  All in all, more than 300 South Dakotans turned out for the event, learning from social media experts and their peers in South Dakota about how to use technology to grow their customer base.

I’m proud to be able to help facilitate opportunities like this.  To me, unlocking the potential of others is one of my primary responsibilities and something I work to do not only at events like this, but also through the policies I help advance as South Dakota’s lone representative in the U.S. House.

This year, I’ve helped push an opportunity-driven agenda that works to pave the way for South Dakota businesses to thrive.  For instance, I helped the House pass the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act. Provisions in this bill make Section 179 expensing levels permanent, so small businesses and millions of Americans who depend on them can better plan for the future.  This has been a critical provision for many South Dakota farmers and small businesses.  If it’s made permanent, I’m hopeful we can give these job creators more incentive to invest and greater certainty.

Additionally, we took up and passed the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act.  According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “government requirements and red tape” ranked as one of the biggest issues facing small business. This bill helps cut through that red tape by requiring federal agencies to consider the impact on small business when writing new regulations.  It also provides greater opportunity for these growing businesses to offer input on the rules and regulations that will hit them hardest.

In South Dakota, 82,705 small businesses employ nearly 200,000 workers.  In fact, more than 96 percent of employers in our state are small businesses.  We need to make sure we do all we can to unlock the potential of each of these businesses.  So whether it means plugging family businesses into social media networks or giving them a bigger voice in the federal rule-making process, I’m committed to doing all I can to support them.


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