COMMENTARY: Should We Regulate Tech Platforms?

December 10, 2020

Commentary from NSBA President Todd McCracken

NSBA President
Todd McCracken

A debate that has been simmering in the background of our national politics for some time is about to become a very public fight with sweeping implications for the small business community: namely, how, when, or whether to break-up or otherwise regulate large technology platforms.

Small businesses use these interconnected platforms to drive new sales, create public awareness, manage customer contacts, and make online sales and payment. The pandemic has seen the use of various online strategies by small businesses skyrocket, and study after study has shown that the businesses that are surviving most successfully in the COVID era are the ones that have most fully embraced new digital tools.

So clearly, policymakers need to be especially sensitive to the impact any regulatory or legal changes will have on smaller businesses. The interconnectedness of our digital platforms and the small businesses that use them are complex and especially subject to unintended consequences. This is not the moment to be cavalier about a crucial piece of our economic superstructure.

As small business advocates, we will continue to work to ensure that the needs of small businesses are addressed. Given their economic importance, the impact on small businesses of any structural changes to our digital and technology infrastructure should receive the highest level of attention.