Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. We love visiting with family and friends, sharing a meal and catching up with relatives — some whom we may not have seen since last year. After the plates have been washed and the turkey put away for this weekend's leftovers, many Americans do one more thing: go shopping.
For weeks, advertisers have publicized deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. These shopping holidays help consumers check off Christmas gift lists and save money at the same time. It's fun to wake up early and go bargain hunting. While the hustle and bustle of looking for deals picks up, we should also remember the small-business owners and their employees who are working hard during this holiday season.
That's why I helped to introduce a resolution designating Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, as “Small Business Saturday.” This resolution recognizes the 29 million small businesses throughout the country, celebrating the value of locally-owned businesses. We encouraged Americans to shop locally because these small firms drive our economy. They have generated over 60 percent of the new jobs created over the last two decades and have made up nearly 98 percent of our exports.
These businesses are the face of America to the world and represent the strength of our country. I recently had the chance to visit some of our state's great local businesses in Norfolk and see how these small businesses help grow our local economy. Family-owned businesses like Tienda Leon, Norfolk Natural Market, Roxi’s Bridal and Midwest Music make our communities more successful and lead us toward a prosperous future.
Small businesses don’t have the professional resources to deal with a tax code that comes in at over 74,000 pages. Simply doing taxes, let alone paying them, has become a burden on locally-owned companies. Our current tax code is not built to foster their growth. If we want to thrive, we must have an economic climate where small businesses and startups can succeed.
Owners of small businesses often file their taxes as individuals and some pay the highest rate of 39.6 percent. They can't take advantage of all the corporate deductions or little-known loopholes like big companies can. This is not fair. It hurts our competitiveness globally, stifles strong economic growth, and favors big corporations, which have offices full of lawyers and accountants.
We should be nurturing small businesses because when they earn money, they invest it back into their businesses and help their local communities prosper. The government shouldn’t make it harder or more complicated for these businesses to succeed. Reform can lower tax burdens on regular Americans and make it simpler for local companies to make more investments, hire more workers, and offer higher wages.
Over the next few weeks, as Congress debates tax reform, I will continue to fight for the people of Nebraska. I will remind my colleagues that the companies we recognize on Small Business Saturday should be those we have in mind as we fix our broken tax code.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that our local shops and stores had a successful Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.