2020 was one of the worst years in modern American history for small businesses. And now, thanks to a wave of minimum wage legislation that kicked in on January 1, things are about to get even worse.
Make no mistake: small business owners are already seriously hurting.
When state and local governments responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring with harsh lockdowns and restrictions, businesses were forced to shutter. Many in the restaurant and hospitality industry remain shut down many months later, or were briefly allowed to reopen then shut down again this fall. Meanwhile, much of the taxpayer-financed aid meant to help these businesses was instead captured by big corporations or lost to fraud and waste.
To add insult to injury, thousands of small businesses were vandalized and looted during the summer unrest after the death of George Floyd. (No, insurance doesn't eliminate the harm).