Policy Agenda: Infrastructure & Economic Development
Investment in our nation's infrastructure is an investment in America, pure and simple, creating tremendous opportunities for small businesses. Nearly 25% of our country's 605,000 bridges are failing, one-third of America's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition and much of rural America lacks crucial access to broadband technology. Investing in our infrastructure supports access to customers and suppliers, enhances business operations and creates demand for the goods and services small businesses have to sell. Not only do small businesses anchor the supply chain for infrastructure initiatives themselves, they run the hotels, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses that serve the people working on these projects.
What's more, infrastructure investments like broadband support the growth of a vibrant freelance and entrepreneurial economy that relies on the Internet for access to markets, customers and services to support operations.
Our polling shows more than three-quarters of small business owners oppose reductions in government infrastructure funding. As such, we must have a national infrastructure investment strategy that includes:
- Ensuring federal support for infrastructure, particularly that which results from offshore tax repatriation, is targeted to actual projects that would not be possible with such funding and that directly benefit small business commercial enterprises.
- Expanding access to shared workspaces, accelerators and incubators that provide the physical and operational infrastructure for entrepreneurs to start and grow new businesses.
- Passing the Community Broadband Act (S. 742), which seeks to help local towns set up public alternatives to big Internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon.
- Creating a sustainable infrastructure financing entity to drive continued investment from the public and private sectors into the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
- Reauthorizing long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund.