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Small businesses in need of help

Most economists will agree that small businesses are the backbone of the nation’s economy. They create more news jobs, provide goods and services that bigger businesses may see as not worth their while, and support their local communities.

But small businesses have been struggling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the government mandated lock-downs and shutdowns, limited their capacity for service and created more regulations for them to deal with.

Now small businesses are being hit by another factor. Economic inflation is driving up the cost of doing business — the cost of utilities, of transportation, of goods they order and sell.

What can be done for small businesses? A Missouri task force, the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force, on Monday released a report following a yearlong study, with recommendations that include improving child care availability and affordability; expanding hospitality industry apprenticeships; creating a single business portal to streamline interaction with state agencies; and promoting existing state programs to support small, women- and minority-owned businesses.

States like Minnesota should study this report and see what ideas we can adapt to meet the needs of our own small businesses. We’d suspect the needs of Missouri small businesses are not much different from the needs of small businesses elsewhere.

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