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Small business owners make their voices heard on Capitol Hill at the Small Business Policy Forum

In today’s political climate, a lot of political leaders talk about wanting to help small business, but oftentimes don’t take their actual comments and concerns into consideration when working on key policy issues, like tax reform and healthcare. That’s why we tackled this challenge head on at Small Business Majority’s 2017 Policy Forum, which brought 50 small business leaders from around the country to our nation’s capital to discuss how to promote policy reforms that will help small businesses thrive.

Small Business Owners Oppose Denying Services to LGBT Customers

Small Business Majority released a national scientific opinion poll—including oversamples in five states—that found small business owners oppose denying services to LGBT customers based on religious beliefs, rights to free speech or freedom of artistic expression. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support enacting federal and state laws to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in places of public accommodation. Small business owners feel that nondiscrimination policies are good for their state’s business climate and their own business’s bottom line.

Small Businesses Face Barriers to Affordable Child Care, Support Expanded Access

Small Business Majority released a scientific opinion poll that found small business owners and their employees are impacted by a lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care. Further, the poll showed that a majority of small businesses support expanding federal programs to increase access to child care through both direct federal assistance and expanded tax credits to help working families struggling with the cost of child care.

L.A. small business owner puts our Work 4 Small Biz pledge into action!

Around the country, small business owners are struggling to find qualified employees. In fact, some 40% of American employers cite lack of skills as the No. 1 reason for entry-level job vacancies, especially among young job candidates. Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate in our country remains considerably high after the aftermath of the Great Recession. Though some small businesses may want to help address this problem while identifying potential talent, they often don’t have the resources to sponsor an internship or mentoring program.

Despite Partial Repeal, Small Business Owners Still Have Much to Fear From HB 2

It’s no secret that HB 2 has been nothing short of an economic disaster for the state. PolitiFact found that the discriminatory law already cost North Carolina around $500 million and a minimum of 1,400 jobs. The Associated Press estimated that the law would eventually cost the state $3.76 billion if left in place. Given the clear economic consequences of HB 2, it’s disappointing that lawmakers made a deal in March to only partially repeal it, because that compromise could still pose a danger to North Carolina’s small business ecosystem.

Closing The Skills Gap: Small Businesses Get Creative To Address Worker Training Shortfalls

The skills gap is a significant hurdle to growth for most businesses in the United States. And while this gap is well documented in sectors like manufacturing, which had 353,000 open jobs per month in 2016 (through August), it is not as well known that small employers face a similar shortage of well-qualified workers.

Small Businesses Need—And Support—Employees With Additional Training and Credentialing

It’s no secret that big businesses struggle to find skilled and credentialed employees. But this issue also impacts our nation’s job creators: small businesses. New scientific polling shows small businesses around the country believe lack of education, experience and training is one of biggest challenges they face when it comes to hiring and employment, and they’re willing to act to ensure they have the skilled workers they need to run their businesses.

State Opinion Polls: Small Business Owners Provide Array of Benefits to Employees

Many small business owners think of their employees as family, and they believe in taking care of their employees in order to retain a happy and loyal workforce and to attract top talent. They also know it’s important for their employees to be able to balance their work and family responsibilities. New scientific polling shows the majority of small businesses in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico offer benefits like paid leave and provide family-friendly policies for their employees.