We all have businesses we love and reasons why we love them—it may be good food, quality service, or great people. There are so many great places across our state, and I wanted to hear about them. Recently, I asked South Dakotans what their favorite local business is and why. Over 200 businesses were recommended from 76 cities.
The responses ranged from coffeeshops and food service businesses, to lawn care businesses and agricultural operations—even masonry companies. All of these businesses make South Dakota unique. I started visiting these businesses to meet the owners and employees, learn about their operations and struggles they encounter, and see for myself the positive impacts they make in our state.
Unsurprisingly, one of the toughest challenges these businesses have faced over the last year is inflation. With inflation rates reaching a historic four-decade high of 8.2%, there’s no doubt these businesses have faced challenges; but their adaptability, resiliency, and the loyalty of South Dakotans to support local businesses have allowed many businesses to power through and continue operating.
In Congress, I have been working to lower big government spending and ease this burden of inflation on our businesses and everyday Americans. I recently voted “no” on yet another massive spending package worth over $485 billion dollars. Families and businesses are struggling, and these persistent high inflation rates don’t seem to be letting up any time soon. Spending more taxpayer dollars, increasing the size of the government, and continuing to print money is the exact opposite of what the federal government should be doing.
Instead, Congress should focus on resolving supply chain issues, increasing our energy security, and aiding our small businesses to mitigate the impact of inflation on business owners and consumers. I have introduced and supported legislation to curb the effects on our supply chain that would ease pilot shortages, address high cargo shipping rates, improve the work life of truck drivers, and increase the number of truck drivers. Time and time again, I have encouraged the Biden Administration to prioritize homegrown biofuels, allow more oil drilling in America, and embrace an all-of-the-above energy approach to decrease our reliance on foreign energy.
Supporting South Dakotans and South Dakotan business is a team effort. These businesses count on people like you and me—a loyal customer to keep coming back and supporting them. Congress must also protect our Main Streets by passing legislation that will ease the burden of inflation. Solutions that focus on streamlining our supply chain, increasing energy production, filling worker shortages, and supporting American businesses. I look forward to working with my Republican colleagues in January to create an economy that is strong—fighting inflation and lowering the cost of living for people like you.
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