🇺🇸 The State of Small Business
May 2, 2022

Good morning, and happy Monday! We’re big fans of friendship across party lines here at the Flag, so three cheers to this chicken dinner in DC…

Plus, you might be surprised to find out that the US leader in producing wind energy is this red state…

Also, this Flag Find has you covered if you still need a Mother’s Day gift.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 4/29: Trump v. Biden, Rasmussen Reports Approve 42,
Disapprove 55
B 4/28: Trump v. Biden, Federalist/Susquehanna Trump 46,
Biden 48
H 4/28: Trump v. Harris, Federalist/Susquehanna Trump 46,
Harris 49

Trending On The Left


CNN: New text messages reveal Fox's Hannity advising Trump White House and seeking direction

Vox: Trump waded into the Ohio GOP Senate primary. But it’s not all about him

Huff Post: GOP Senator Calls For Insider Trading Probe Of Rep. Madison Cawthorn

Trending On The Right


Wash Examiner: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s lawyers attempt to block 'Marshall law' text from court record

DW: GOP Demands Senate Terminate Contracts With Citibank For Financing ‘Abortion Tourism’

Fox: Liberals melt down after Musk claims the Democrat Party was ‘hijacked by extremists'

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QUICK CLICKS

Speaker Pelosi in Ukraine, Student Loan Debt Doubts, Obama's Ministry?


World: Pelosi makes unannounced trip to Kyiv, becoming highest-ranking US official to meet with Zelensky since the war began (CNN)

US: Former top Pence aide: Forgiving student loan debt an ‘asinine policy’ (The Hill)

US: Tulsi Gabbard suggests Obama behind 'Ministry of Truth,' says Biden just 'front man' (Fox News)

World: Russia strikes U.S. weapons at airfield near Odesa, defence ministry says (Reuters)

World: Hacktivists and cybercriminals wreak havoc in Russia (WaPo)

US: Firefighters battling New Mexico blaze brace for wind (AP)

US: GOP strong on crime, boosted by trust in inflation: POLL (ABC)

US: Trevor Noah Holds Nothing Back in Brutally Funny White House Correspondents’ Dinner Roast (Daily Beast)

US: Bill Murray responds to ‘Being Mortal’ complaint: ‘I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn’t taken that way’ (Daily News)

US: Biden calls former VP Mondale 'giant' of political history (AP)

US: Country singer Naomi Judd dead at 76 (The Week)

ECONOMY

The State of Small Business

It’s National Small Business Week, and after the Department of Commerce reported the US economy shrank in the first quarter of 2021, we’re taking a close look at how America’s small businesses are holding up.

News Coverage from the Left: Biden will tout 'small business boom' in roundtable with small business owners at White House (CNN)

News Coverage from the Right: National Small Business Week Celebrates Entrepreneurship In The Face Of Adversity (Forbes)

From the Flag: The White House released a report last week citing a small business boom, while the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index is at a 48-year low, with many owners blaming inflation. Here’s more from both sides.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Inflation and Crime Crush Small Businesses, Who Are Looking to Expand


  • While the nation’s economy may be cooling overall, small businesses remain in expansion mode, especially when it comes to hiring.
  • Small businesses drive America’s larger economy, but elected officials are failing to provide conditions in which they can thrive.
  • Politicians and pundits who downplay the effects of inflation are out of touch with consumers and likely never ran a business.

“More Jobs and More Raises at Small Businesses” James Freeman, Wall Street Journal Opinion: “The US economy is sending mixed signals but the consistent message from small firms is an intense desire to hire. Jobs increased and so did compensation in March. That’s according to the latest monthly employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business … Small firms added an unspectacular 0.16 worker per firm in March, but this number is definitely moving in the right direction. … Owners would be happy to add many more workers if only they could find them. … The labor shortage is especially acute in transportation, construction and manufacturing. Warehouse firms also have a wealth of open positions. … The NFIB data also show that despite a number of recent signs that the economy is cooling and a consensus among professional economists that we’re headed for mediocre growth, the appetite to expand the workforce remains healthy among small firms.”

“Small business owners keep America running” Mick Rich, American Thinker: “The biggest challenges that small business owners face were created by national and local governments.  These challenges include our broken justice system, unsafe neighborhoods, the homeless crisis, a failed education system, an ill equipped health care system, a convoluted tax code, burdensome regulations, out-of-control inflation, and worker shortages. Criminals prey upon small businesses without fear of prosecution.  Our firm has had over $100,000's worth of trucks and equipment stolen.  Despite some of the thieves being caught by the police with the stolen equipment, the district attorney never prosecuted the criminals.  Today, police are just the first step in filing an insurance loss form, not the first step in prosecuting the criminals. Police have left small businesses to defend themselves.  Our firm, like many others, spends thousands of dollars on security monitoring systems with an armed response capability, security cameras, and tracking devices for equipment and vehicles.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Inflation Is Eating Away at the Heart of America's Small Businesses Salena Zito, Real Clear Politics

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Close Gaps in Healthcare and Business Education To Promote Equity


  • As the economy looks to recover from the pandemic, the nation has an ideal opportunity to promote equity among small business owners.
  • One of the biggest challenges facing small business owners is providing health insurance, and government assistance is vital.
  • Close to half of all small businesses fail within five years of launch, but better financial education could increase the chance of success.

“Prioritize small-business racial and gender equity as part of economic recovery” Mike Fong, Seattle Times Op-ed: “Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has worked to save the nation’s small businesses. … Unforeseen circumstances are a fact of life for small business owners and entrepreneurs, but nobody anticipated the worldwide upheaval we have experienced since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in our country … Recently, a new report found that during the pandemic, historically underrepresented communities were disproportionately likely to experience closure, revenue decline, or a reduction in customers than other businesses. Undoubtedly, these findings are tied to pre-pandemic realities faced by Black, Latino and women-owned businesses that were magnified during the public health crisis. … ​​We have demonstrated that under extraordinary circumstances, we can knit together an incredible safety net for our community during the COVID-19 crisis. I know we can do the same with intentionality in advancing equity as we build back better.”

“What I wish I’d known about health insurance when starting a business” Matt Morning, Reno Gazette Journal Opinion: “I am relatively healthy and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I had been able to stay on my parents’ insurance until I was 26. After that, I was focused on hustling and growing my business. Premiums, deductibles and co-pays were not necessarily at the top of my list of priorities. I only had one other employee at the time and offering benefits of any kind just wasn’t in the cards for me … Through Nevada Health Link, I was able to access federal subsidies that actually made insurance affordable for my family while I was still growing my business. … Luckily, in the last few years, my business has successfully grown to a place where I am able to offer coverage to my employees, something that gives me pride — but also feels like how the government should be supporting entrepreneurship.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Why financial literacy matters for small business owners Sunshine Foss, AM New York Metro

FLAG THIS

More Small Business Owners Face Closure as Inflation Soars


A poll released just last week shows small business owners are increasingly worried about their ability to keep the doors open, with inflation and other difficult economic conditions cited as the reason.

More than a third of all owners have considered shutting down in the past 12 months. Over 40% say rising prices have had a “significant impact” on their business (NEXT Insurance).

In late March, 500 of the country’s small business owners were surveyed in an opinion poll — 83% strongly or somewhat agreed that small businesses want a more equitable playing field with larger corporations (Small Business Majority).

Flag Poll: Are US small businesses held back by large corporations? Join our discussion here.

FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Nessie Gets Published, Laser Focus, Tasteless Gold

On May 2, 1933, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster was born when a sighting makes local news. The newspaper Inverness Courier relates an account of a local couple who claim to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” Above is the infamous "Surgeon's Photograph" taken a year later, which is now regarded as a hoax.

Science Focus: Be more productive: A neuroscientist explains how to get more done in less time

InsideHookWhat Happened to All the Limos?

The Washington Post: What to do if you lose your phone and can’t access your accounts

Today I Learned gold has no discernible flavor. The fad of adding edible gold to expensive food items does nothing in terms of taste and is more of a gimmick than a way to create a unique flavor.

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