Washington, D.C. – Two bipartisan members of the House Small Business Committee today introduced the Main Street Competes Act of 2022, which would expand the mission of the Small Business Administration to promote competitive markets, consumer choice and business ownership.
Introduced by U.S. Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL) and Claudia Tenney (R-NY), the bill would grant the SBA the authority to study and report on the extent to which antitrust enforcement protects competition by small business. The bill would also expand the Office of Advocacy to assess how effectively antitrust enforcement promotes competition and deters harmful conduct against small business.
“In this time of economic uncertainty, it’s critical that Congress and the federal government have the appropriate tools to measure the competitiveness of America’s small businesses,” Newman said. “Small businesses are the backbone of communities across America. Leveling the playing field is crucial to the survival of these companies, especially as turbulent times persist for small business owners still recovering from pandemic challenges while facing supply chain disruptions and record inflation.”
Tenney added, “The Main Street Competes Act will give small businesses a voice in federal antitrust enforcement to protect them and consumers from the growing threat of large monopolies. Small businesses provide essential goods and services and create well-paying local jobs. The Small Business Administration is supposed to be an advocate for small businesses within the federal government, yet too often it is shut out from important discussions in Washington about how antitrust laws are enforced. This bill will make sure small business advocates have a seat at the table.”
The Main Street Competition Coalition, a group representing business owners harmed by unfair exercises of market power, endorsed the legislation.
“Main Street applauds Reps. Newman and Tenney for their leadership offering solutions to address anticompetitive conduct that harms the competitiveness of small businesses,” said Chris Jones, NGA senior vice president of government relations and counsel, and head of the Main Street Competition Coalition. “Antitrust laws like the Robinson-Patman Act haven’t been enforced in a generation and it’s taking a profound toll on Main Street businesses and agriculture producers. It’s time for the small business advocate in the federal government, the Small Business Administration, to take stock of whether antitrust law enforcement is achieving its intended purpose of ensure a competitive climate in which all businesses can compete.”
About the Main Street Competition Coalition
The Main Street Competition Coalition is a coalition of main street businesses and agriculture producers that are committed to promoting competition and reviving and reforming the Robinson-Patman Act. We advocate for antitrust policies that ensure a level playing field for the benefit of both business and consumers. For more information about the coalition, visit www.mainstreetcompetition.com.