It is rare these days to hear about Congress supporting constituents. I am not alone in the disappointment I feel when I repeatedly see our members of Congress vote against policies that would help locally owned businesses in Maine grow and succeed.

Succeeding as a small-business owner in today’s environment is challenging. While technology and the Internet provide tremendous opportunities, the rise of globalization has forced Main Street businesses to compete with international juggernauts like Amazon, Airbnb and Google – entities with endless resources. And mounting government regulations mean we spend hard-earned revenue on compliance and attorneys’ fees, rather than on hiring and training people and generating new jobs.

One recent, nonsensical regulation out of Washington, D.C., the joint-employer rule, would have made businesses liable for workers they do not directly employ, an action that threatens the livelihoods of small-business owners like me.

Fortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Save Local Business Act in November. This bill would provide clear rules for small-business owners and solve the joint-employer problem. I am grateful that Rep. Bruce Poliquin supported the common-sense legislation, but it is unfortunate that our entire congressional delegation could not be counted on, as well.

Why do local businesses need saving? Because with technology, globalization and overregulation, it is awfully daunting to start and maintain a profitable small business. We are simply asking for clear rules from Congress to help us out.

Now that the House has passed the Save Local Business Act, I hope that we can count on our U.S. senators, Angus King and Susan Collins, to support small businesses in Maine, stop the expansion of the joint-employer rule and help re-establish a business environment where American entrepreneurs can continue to thrive.

Laurie Anne Palmer


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