Guest Commentary: Support small business this holiday season

By Sen. John Thune

Small business is the lifeblood of South Dakota communities. Across the state, small businesses sponsor baseball teams, support fine arts fundraisers, contribute to development projects, and make the conscious decision to keep their business in our community to help stimulate our local economies. These business owners often treat their customers and their employees like family, because in small towns, ensuring customer satisfaction is vitally important to keeping their doors open.

Over the past several years, the economic climate has been difficult for many small businesses to navigate. Economic uncertainty has led to revenue and job loss, and many small businesses wonder how they will weather the economic storm. The hope for any small business during the holiday season is that members of their community will first choose to shop local for their holiday gifts. The loyalty and patronage of customers in small towns and in small businesses across the state injects money into local establishments, helping them to lower prices and provide a greater array of products and services.

In Washington, I believe we must do more to provide certainty and support for our small businesses. Unfortunately, proposals put forward by the president and Democrat-led Senate would increase taxes on small businesses. It is estimated that under the Democrats' plan, tax hikes would hit nearly one million businesses that employ 25 percent of the nation's workforce. If the president and Senate Democrats are serious about growing our economy and preventing our country from heading over the fiscal cliff, they should provide certainty to small businesses by extending the current tax rates for all Americans.

Congress has a lot of work to do over the next month to ensure that we protect small businesses and get our fiscal house in order. I will continue to work across the aisle to protect our job creators and cut spending. As the holiday season continues, don't limit your small business patronage to Small Business Saturday. Support your friends; support your community; support small businesses by shopping locally this holiday season.

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