by Steve Burke
WASHINGTON, DC—(Pinkston News Service)—According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a historic 5.4 million new business applications were filed last year, smashing the 2020 record. But while entrepreneurship appears alive and well, a report released last month by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) warns of growing angst among new small business owners of possible government regulation of large technology companies.
According to the survey of small business owners who started their business during COVID-19, 61% of respondents say government regulations against technology companies will adversely impact their business, with 36% saying they are extremely concerned about such measures. Top concerns included the ending of free services; disruption in communications with customers and back-end support; diminished business visibility and ability to grow their customer base. The survey also found that 68% say they rely on established technology and platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, to run their business.
“It’s clear that these new entrepreneurs appreciate the services large technology companies offer that enable them to affordably reach their customers. These owners worry losing access to these free or affordable services will interfere with how they run their businesses. Instead, our research found that these business owners largely want President Biden and Congress to focus on the urgent issues of taxes, inflation and supply chain challenges,” said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan in a press release.
Last July, President Biden issued an executive order calling for a crackdown of what the administration calls “the excessive concentration of industry,” and “the abuses of market power” across a range of industries, including technology. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently signaled their support for congressional antitrust legislation targeting “Big Tech.”
When it comes to economic conditions and the prospects for aspiring entrepreneurs, SBEC found that 42% say the U.S. economy is conducive to helping new businesses prosper, while 32% say it is not entrepreneur friendly.
Kerrigan pointed out that not all business applications that are filed actually result in an enterprise being formed. And, for this reason, “aspiring entrepreneurs or almost entrepreneurs need as much encouragement as possible to take that next step toward launching a business,” Kerrigan said.
SBEC advocates on behalf of entrepreneurs and small businesses and has more than 100,000 members, according to its website, www.sbecouncil.org.