Speeches and Statements

Murphy Acceptance Speech of Small Business Council of America 2021 Congressional Award

f t # e
Washington, June 23, 2021 | comments

Good afternoon everybody. 

I want to thank the Small Business Council of America for presenting me with this award.  I’m really honored and humbled to receive it.

This award means a lot to me because small businesses mean a lot to me.

They are the lifeblood of our national economy and of the Florida economy, my home state.

Although the pandemic has affected these numbers, there are 2.7 million small businesses in Florida, employing 3.5 million Floridians.  Of every 10 private sector workers in the state, four work at a small business.

On a personal level, my husband runs a small business in Florida—a sports apparel company that our family is incredibly proud of.  Starting a small business is an act of courage because there is real risk involved.  And keeping a small business going is a labor of love.

For a small business owner, there’s really no such thing as “regular” or “normal” working hours.  Over time, your workers become more like family members than mere employees to you.  A good small business owner puts their heart and soul into trying to make their business succeed, and—despite their best efforts—many small businesses don’t make it.

My basic view is that the federal government should try to make life easier for small business owners, not harder—because you face enough headwinds as it is.

If you take pride in being pro-worker, as I do, then you should also take pride in being pro-business, because workers are employed by businesses.  I reject this false choice between being pro-worker and pro-business.

I also know that, too often, well-intentioned laws written by Congress and well-intentioned regulations written by federal agencies have the unintended effect of preventing small businesses from starting or succeeding, so we need to be very careful and thoughtful about how we legislate and regulate.   

Of course, the COVID crisis has been particularly hard on small businesses.  Many of you have struggled to weather this health and economic storm, caused by factors completely beyond your control.

That’s why I am so proud that my bipartisan initiative to establish an employee retention tax credit, or ERTC, was enacted into law as part of the CARES Act; then expanded and extended in the end-of-the-year COVID package; and then extended through the end of 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

As you know, the ERTC is a pro-worker, pro-business credit under which the federal government provides payroll support to businesses affected by COVID that retain or rehire their workers, rather than lay them off.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the ERTC could help businesses retain or rehire 13 million workers.  The ERTC has not attracted as much media attention as the PPP, but it’s a hugely important initiative to help employers who help their employees.

I’m now laser focused on implementation by the Treasury Department and the IRS.  Secretary Yellin recently appeared before the Ways and Means Committee and I pressed her to ensure that small businesses and tax preparers are well-informed about the ERTC and are taking full advantage of it.

What we managed to get right on paper only matters to small businesses like yours if we get it right in practice.

With that said, I want to thank you again for giving me this honor.  It really means a lot to me—and I’m very grateful.

Thank you—and thank you for everything you do for your workers, our economy, and our country.     

f t # e

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.

Office Locations