How many times have you heard a new small business owner say, “Find me on social media?” Or do you check your phone looking for the best soul food restaurant in town near you? For years small and emerging businesses grew their companies using the power of the internet. Aren’t you amazed that your phone or computer knows to send you ads for puppy food just after you got that new Schnauzer? But now Congress wants to control the internet.
The Great Equalizer
For small businesses that maybe can’t get bank loans or fully understand the market, the internet is the best business partner. For a small time and cash investment, small businesses can not only understand their markets but also earn a return on investment. Posting with friends and family or spending $100 on an ad that reaches 2,000 targeted people generates sales. Or maybe not. Either way, a small business owner gets some market research. Growing a small business without any market info is nothing more than guessing. And you normally don’t scale your way to a successful business enterprise by just guessing.
Congress wants to control the internet.
Access to information has long hampered the black community. Information is power. Learning about healthy diets or how to house train your new puppy is widely available on the internet. Need to fix that running toilet? Well after watching three YouTube videos on replacing the worn stopper, you feel empowered. You can run out to the store and find the Korky 1234 toilet stopper. And you can go to your phone and find the nearest store that has the stopper in stock. What a wonderful world.
But a new bill working through Congress might change all that. A bill introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar seeks to inject government controls. Under her bill government bureaucrats will determine what ads you see. Watched a YouTube video on running toilets? You might get ads about puppies…because the official on duty just loves puppies…and no info on the best stopper and the nearest store that sells them. Not only might you see puppy ads, but Google can’t even map you to the nearest store that sells the Korky 1234 toilet stopper. Forget about getting accurate inventory.
Related: Bill Cassidy Shows Courage
So, for you, dear business owners, it is back to luck and good guesses. Big tech companies are under attack. Instead of creating spaces for small and emerging businesses to grow and prosper, these companies might be taken over. That bill could transform big tech companies into utilities. Like the Sewerage and Water Board in New Orleans. Or Entergy. These companies provide services – usually very good services, but sometimes…….yes, we all know about the big ‘but’.
Our two senators – Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy– can stop this. We need common sense. We need to not only protect our people but our businesses. The big technology companies are not perfect. But market influences rather than government takeover is the best solution. Senators Cassidy and Kennedy must protect the people of Louisiana.