Content, Small business

President Joe Biden: Small Business and Technology Industry Priorities

U.S. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris

President Joe Biden has made battling the coronavirus his Number One priority. But Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris must also address additional business, technology and economic challenges.

Here's a day-by-day look at the Biden presidency, proposed legislation, executive orders, and other moves that specifically involve business and technology policies -- and their potential implications for IT service providers.

Plus: See the latest Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) updates here.

Note: Article originally published November 9, 2020. Updated for Inauguration Day 2021 and regularly thereafter.

February 10, 2021:

  • Survey - Small Businesses and Biden Stimulus: 63% of small business owners support the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan, according to the Q1 2021 CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, including 46% of Republican entrepreneurs. Source: CNBC, February 10, 2021.

January 25, 2021

  • Small Business and Secretary of Treasury: Small Business for America's Future applauded Janet Yellon's confirmation as Secretary of the Treasury. Yellen has demonstrated that she understands that small business survival will be crucial to the strength of our overall economic recovery, the organization says. Source: Small Business for America's Future, January 25, 2021.
  • Minimum Wage: President Biden is proposing raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The federal minimum wage has been stagnant at $7.25 an hour since 2009. Small business advocacy groups are warning the move could slow an already challenging economic recovery, while workers’ rights groups say it’s long past-due for a raise. Source: CNBC, January 25, 2021.

January 20, 2021

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution: Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, sent a letter to President Joe Biden, offering to help with the nation’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Source: CNBC, January 20, 2021.
  • Climate Focus: Biden announced America’s return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change, and a sweeping order to review all of former President Donald Trump’s actions weakening climate change protections. Source: Reuters, January 20, 2021.
  • European Union Perspectives: The European Union hailed Joe Biden’s inauguration as a “new dawn” for Europe and the United States, while insisting U.S. technology companies should be regulated to stop the “dark forces” of hate speech online. Source: Reuters, January 20, 2021.
  • Coders Needed: The Whitehouse website contained hidden code calling on savvy coders to join the U.S. Digital Service. Source: Reuters, January 20, 2021.
  • Inauguration Day: Biden and Harris were sworn into office.

Before the Inauguration

All the content listed below was written and published before Biden and Harris were sworn into office on January 20, 2021.

Joe Biden and Big Tech Policy

  • U.S. President  Joe Biden was urged to reject the influence of Big Tech companies on his administration, by 32 antitrust, consumer advocacy, labor and related groups in a letter sent on November 30, 2020. Source: Reuters, November 30, 2020.

Joe Biden and Cybersecurity Policy

  • President Joe Biden's approach to cybersecurity appears likely to mirror that of his old boss, former President Barack Obama. Expect Biden's White House to increase pressure on Russia, practice greater involvement in cybersecurity, and foster high levels of coordination around all things cyber. Source: Bank Info Security, November 9, 2020.

Joe Biden and Immigration/Technology Hiring

  • Visa Holders: Big Tech and its allies are eager to work with the incoming Biden administration to reverse President Trump’s stricter immigration policies that they complain made it more difficult to recruit and employ highly skilled visa holders. Source: New York Post, November 16, 2020.

Joe Biden and International Policy

European Union: Multiple updates expected...

  • The European Union hopes Joseph Biden’s incoming administration will clarify the U.S. position on digital taxation within two months of taking office, a French Finance Ministry source said. Source: Reuters, November 30, 2020.

China Policy:  Multiple updates...

  • Biden may change the tone of Washington’s relationship with Beijing, but business leaders and Democratic advisers say he is likely to push back on China’s aim to become a global technology leader. As a candidate, Biden said he would invest in bolstering American technology and work with allies to confront Beijing on trade, two initiatives industry officials are banking on. Source: The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2020.
  • President Trump set the United States on a new course with his years-long fight against Chinese technology, which he labeled a security threat and a tool for spreading Chinese influence. President Joe Biden will probably tweak that approach, but Beijing shouldn’t anticipate a significant softening, foreign affairs and technology experts say. Source: The Washington Post, November 16, 2020.

Secretary of State and International Technology Policy: The Biden-Harris administration has officially named Antony Blinken as it pick for secretary of state. The administration will have to decide how exactly to situate cyber in the US diplomatic apparatus—given its entanglement with human rights and counterterrorism, free speech and modern trade, capacity-building and national security. Source: Wired, November 25, 2020.

Joe Biden and Small Business

Joe Biden and Small Business: Biden has said he wants:

  • Changes in the Paycheck Protection Program, including strengthened oversight and a guarantee that every eligible business with 50 employees or fewer would get relief.
  • A stronger federal plan to control the public health crisis in order to mitigate shutdown risks and therefore protect businesses.
  • A fund which would receive $30 billion in initial federal funding and make investments, including directing $10 billion to state and local programs that provide venture capital.
  • To provide theMinority Business Development Agency, housed under the Commerce Department, $5 billion in annual lending and investment authority, a move intended to improve federal contracting and other opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
  • Source: The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2020.

Association of Women's Business Centers: AWBC CEO Corinne Hodges offered this statement:

“The Association of Women’s Business Centers congratulates President Biden and Vice President Harris on their recent success. On behalf of women-owned businesses nationwide and the 117 women’s business centers, we applaud every U.S. citizen that exercised their right to vote in the 2020 General Election - a historic number of Americans turned out.

In this upcoming year, we urge bipartisan solutions to the health and economic uncertainty at hand. As the Biden Administration addresses the COVID-19 crisis, we underscore the importance of supporting female entrepreneurship, along with the greater small business community, to keep Americans on payroll and alleviate the disparate effects experienced by millions of entrepreneurs.

AWBC looks forward to working with the Biden Administration and new Congress in prioritizing the small business community, including women-owned businesses, and building a sustainable future for the backbone of our economy.”

Source: AWBC, November 9, 2020.

The Main Street Alliance: The alliance, which represents U.S.small businesses, congratulated Biden and Harris but called on the duo to close the major gaps that small businesses face -- including:

  • A real understanding and commitment to eliminate the inequities in capital access and financial support for minority-owned and women-owned small businesses, particularly Black women-owned small businesses.
  • Protecting and strengthening the health care many small businesses rely on through the Affordable Care Act.
  • And addressing the very real child care and paid leave crisis we have in our country that directly impacts our small businesses economy.
  • Source: Main Street Alliance, November 7, 2020.

Todd McCracken, president, National Small Business Association (NSBA)

National Small Business Association: The NSBA applauded the 2020 election winners and called on all policymakers to focus on the road ahead. In a statement, NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken said:

“I’d like to congratulate all the new and returning lawmakers who won their races, and specifically President-Elect Joe Biden on his win. As the nation’s longest running small-business advocacy organization, I’d like to extend an open door to his administration as they begin the important transition process and move forward on efforts to move the U.S. economy forward.

“NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization. We work with anyone who supports pro-small-business policies, and we take our marching orders directly from our small-business members. As such, we will continue our productive work with the Trump Administration throughout the remaining months of its term and offer our support and insight to President-Elect Biden’s incoming team.

“For small businesses, the bottom line today is: onward.”

Source: National Small Business Association, November 7,  2020.

Frank Knapp Jr., co-chair, Small Business for America’s Future

Small Business for America's Future: In a statement from Co-Chair Frank Knapp Jr., the coalition for small business owners and leaders nationwide called on the Biden Administration and legislators to focus on four priorities:

  • Provide Covid-19 financial relief to small businesses;
  • Correct market failures that have resulted in unbearably high healthcare costs and create affordable options for entrepreneurs and their employees.
  • Implement common-sense tax policies that put small businesses on a level playing field with large corporations and correct the failures of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Create programs that promote the economic security of small businesses by addressing universal small business problems that make them less competitive with big business. Access to capital in particular is a top concern for small business owners.

Source: Small Business for America’s Future, November 7, 2020.

Joe Biden and U.S. Business, Industry and Vertical Markets

Joe Biden and Vertical Markets: Here's a look at the President's views on the auto industry, technology, trade, manufacturing, agriculture, banking, pharma, health care, retail, workplace diversity and more. Source: The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2020.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.