Sobering statistics

We were disappointed, but not surprised, that about 12% of Iowa small and medium-sized businesses went out of business and 20% reduced employment due to the pandemic, according to a February survey by Facebook of 227 businesses.

While we have some skepticism about the survey size, the message is clear that small and medium-sized businesses took the brunt of the economic impact.

It was little consolation that a news report noted that both percentages were well below national averages, according to Facebook’s Global State of Small Business Report.

About 22% of small and medium-sized businesses closed nationwide, and 27% cut back on their workforce, The Gazette reported.

“Our latest Global State of Small Business Report is a timely reminder that many (small and medium-sized businesses) are still vulnerable and in need of support,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement.

Tax gets CEO cold shoulder

Several weeks ago, we warned CEOs, namely those involved in the esteemed Business Roundtable — an association of CEOs leading America’s top companies — to be careful about pushing for legislative mandates based on political correctness and the political whims of the day due to unintended consequences.

It is interesting to note that just a few short years ago, during the previous Trump administration, the Business Roundtable changed its principles of corporate governance away from shareholder primacy toward serving all stakeholders, including their communities.

“The American dream is alive, but fraying,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and then-chairman of the Business Roundtable, in a 2019 news release. “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term. These modernized principles reflect the business community’s unwavering commitment to continue to push for an economy that serves all Americans.”

But now that President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking to increase taxes on companies,  many of these same CEOs are pushing back, warning the tax increase could impact their companies’ competitiveness.

A new Business Roundtable survey found that 98% or — nearly 175 CEOs polled — believe the 28% corporate tax rate included in Mr. Biden’s tax plan will hurt their company’s ability to compete.

We were impressed that Gregory J. Hayes, the CEO of Raytheon Technologies, the parent company of Collins Aerospace, had the guts to publicly take the lead in opposing Mr. Biden’s tax plan.

“As we look toward recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping competitive tax policies in place is needed to help reinvigorate the U.S. economy and lead to more opportunity for Americans,” said Mr. Hayes.

This current tax plan should help to remind these CEOs to stay focused on their jobs rather than accommodating political whims.