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Two Years Later, Tax Reform Continues to Help South Dakota Families, Small Businesses

Historic tax reform legislation was signed into law by President Trump just over two years ago, and it has had a positive impact for South Dakota families and small businesses. Entrepreneurs are feeling optimistic about their businesses, and are reinvesting savings from tax cuts back into their businesses and their employees. Wages are rising and new jobs are being created. The average American household can expect a lifetime gain of around $25,000 thanks to tax reform.

One of the many reasons I voted in favor of tax reform was because of the benefits it included for small businesses. In our state, 99 percent of all businesses are small businesses. We are the home base for 85,000 small businesses that employ more than 200,000 South Dakotans. Each of these small businesses plays a critical role in our state’s economy. When they are doing well financially, they can hire more workers, pay employees higher wages, give out bonuses and increase charitable giving to benefit the community. Higher wages and better jobs can help families save for their children’s education, buy a home and invest for retirement.

We just wrapped up the biggest shopping season of the year. The holidays are a busy time for small businesses, and shopping locally can help to make sure they continue to succeed year after year. In 2019, the national economy continued its growth streak, and consumers felt confident spending their hard-earned money. Recent numbers showed that 83 percent of consumers planned to shop at a small business over the holidays, and 91 percent of consumers regularly shop at a small business at least once per week throughout the entire year.

During a visit to Sioux Falls late last year, I spent some time driving around the city to meet with small business owners ahead of the busy holiday season. From bakeries to retail shops, the majority of the people I met with felt confident that they’d end the year on solid footing. I’ve had a number of business owners from across the state tell me that while they’re doing well, they have trouble finding people to hire. We have so many jobs, but not a big enough workforce to fill all of them. I’ll continue working in the Senate to advance workforce development policies so businesses can fill open jobs and our economy can reach its full potential.

We also need to continue to finalize trade agreements to bring some stability back to the market for ag producers. As the administration continues to upgrade our trade policies with other countries, South Dakota’s ag producers have been at the tip of the spear. This month, we expect to finalize the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, which will help South Dakota dairy producers and manufacturers. It will also give us some much-needed leverage to finalize trade deals in other parts of the world so all of our state’s ag producers can feel some relief. I appreciate President Trump’s commitment to corn farmers and ethanol producers that his administration will live up to the law and blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply annually. Making sure the EPA follows through on that promise is important for corn producers in our part of the country. Agriculture is our state’s number one industry, and it’s critical that our farmers and ranchers have markets to sell their products.

Tax reform was a win for South Dakota families and small businesses, but we still have work ahead of us to make sure our economy continues to grow in all sectors. I look forward to tackling these issues in the year ahead.