Independent Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Farmers and Pharmacists Celebrate Biden Administration’s Pro-Competition Efforts

August 10, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, 10 organizations representing thousands of independent businesses, entrepreneurs, farmers, and pharmacists sent a letter to President Biden, commending his recent Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy and offering their support in ensuring the outlined measures are implemented in a timely and comprehensive manner.

As the letter signers explain, the Executive Order lays out numerous pro-competition policies that not only benefit businesses and entrepreneurs, but also consumers and workers. Among its many directives, the order aims to encourage more competition in government procurement, protect small businesses from unfair competition, and allow business owners to repair their own equipment. If fully implemented, the order will allow small businesses, farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, and startups open access to existing markets and protect their ability to compete in new ones, as well as intensify homegrown innovation and give workers and consumers alike more opportunities and choices.

The letter signers conclude by applauding President Biden’s decision to appoint strong antitrust enforcers such as Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter to key roles in his administration, and urge the President to nominate an additional FTC Commissioner who is “a bold enforcer who won’t hesitate to ensure that your vision is fully realized.

“Entrepreneurs and businesses deserve access to fair markets to bring their vision to life. With his recent Executive Order, President Biden is helping to make that a reality,”said Nidhi Hegde and Denise Hearn, co-leads of the American Economic Liberties Project’s Access to Markets Initiative. “This Executive Order will put an end to the many ways dominant corporations block and undermine entrepreneurs and smaller businesses – and help to create a level playing field that fosters innovation and allows the best ideas, products, and services to flourish.”

“The White House Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy is essential to creating an equitable pathway for entrepreneurs to grow post-pandemic,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Small businesses, particularly those in under-resourced communities, are resilient, but unfair government procurement processes have kept them from competing on a level playing field with big corporations that have monopolized industries. We’re thrilled this executive order addresses the stranglehold big businesses have on competition and equips small businesses with the support they need to overcome obstacles to job creation and innovation.”

“This executive order presents a monumental opportunity for marginalized communities to take back control of their own communities,” said Lauren Paul, Director of Partnerships and Policy at Common Future. For far too long, market concentration and monopoly dominance have worked against small businesses across the country, stifling access to capital and markets. Small businesses, owned by and for the communities they represent, have the potential to be the backbone of local economies. We’re seeing enormous interest in new business creation by Black and Brown entrepreneurs, demonstrating the resiliency and tenacity of our country. After over a year of economic devastation for marginalized communities, this is an ideal opportunity to build back better.”

“President Biden’s executive order addresses key concerns on competition we hear from small business owners across the country. This important action moves us closer to real solutions to combat increased corporate consolidation and levels the playing field against monopolistic market practices,” said Main Street Alliance Executive Co-Directors Chanda Causer and Stephen Michael. In addition to the focus on Big Tech, we are encouraged by initiatives to expose and limit monopoly control in healthcare and prescription drug pricing and small business lending – two critical issues for small business owners. Antitrust regulation is one place where we can look to build a more resilient and fair economy coming out of the pandemic.”

“Amazon has been “boxing out” local bookstores and other small businesses all across the country, resulting in the loss of local jobs, local sales tax revenue, and a sense of neighborhood personality, community and tradition. People may not realize the cost and consequences of Amazon’s “convenience” until they see the impact on their local business communities. We feel this executive order if fully implemented will give local businesses access to markets creating widely shared ownership, jobs, and prosperity,” said Derek Peebles, Executive Director of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).

“For too long, vertically integrated pharmacy benefit manager-insurers have gotten away with take-it-or-leave-it contracts, patient steering, and other anticompetitive conduct that decides the reimbursement of their competitors and harms patient care. NCPA appreciates the momentum within the administration and other policymakers for probes into exploitative behavior. We support changes leading to a system that is more balanced and fair, more pro-patient and pro-small business pharmacy,” said National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA.

“We are pleased to work with our partners to address the negative impact that pharmaceutical benefit managers have had on patient care and the sustainability of independent and small chain pharmacies. PBM abuses directly contribute to sky high drug prices and limit patients’ abilities to get the care they need when they need it from their pharmacist,” said APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Scott J. Knoer.

Read the letter to President Biden here

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.