How to Launch a Million Cozy Small Businesses

Unlocking America's Small Business Potential through Universal Health Care

In the United States small businesses are not merely threads; they are the very warp and weft that give it strength and color. Yet, despite the vital role they play in the economy, small-scale retail and other small businesses across the United States face many challenges, not least of which is the huge task of securing affordable health insurance. As we look to clear the path for small-scale retail in every neighborhood by addressing zoning laws, we must also confront a more systemic impediment that stifles small business formation: the absence of inexpensive and universal health care.

Small businesses, particularly those that are owner-operated with no employees, find themselves in a precarious position. For them if they don’t qualify for subsidized plans, the health insurance market offers cost prohibitive options. This situation not only puts the health and well-being of small business owners and their families at risk but also acts as a significant barrier to entrepreneurship. The dream of starting one's own business is often dashed against the harsh reality of health care costs, forcing many to remain in less fulfilling jobs simply to retain their health benefits.

The impact of this barrier cannot be overstated. In a country where innovation and entrepreneurship are highly valued, the health insurance quandary effectively stifles the growth of our local economies. However, there is hope on the horizon: universal health care. By guaranteeing health coverage at low or no cost, universal health care has the potential to catalyze the launch of millions of small ventures, unleashing a wave of innovation and job creation across the country.

Universal health care would do more than just remove the financial burden of health insurance from small business owners; it would fundamentally transform the entrepreneurial landscape. With the security of health coverage, potential entrepreneurs would be empowered to take the leap into business ownership, confident in the knowledge that their health care needs would be met. This security could spur an unprecedented boom in small business creation, invigorating local economies and enriching the diversity of products and services available to consumers, and allow for the unique, quirky local business we all love.

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash

New York State and Washington State are both considering the launch of universal health care statewide. The race is on, and whichever crosses the finish line first will not only make history but is also likely to see an immediate and significant boom in small business creation. This is not mere speculation; the correlation between health care security and entrepreneurial activity is well-documented, recent reforms such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already helped to insure millions of freelancers and small business owners. The promise of universal health care as a catalyst for business formation is grounded in solid economic reasoning.

Furthermore, the implementation of universal health care would complement efforts to promote residential retail and help small businesses thrive. By eliminating the health insurance obstacle, we would pave the way for a more dynamic and inclusive small business sector, one where entrepreneurs of all backgrounds can pursue their dreams without the specter of health care costs looming over them.

If we are serious about nurturing our small businesses and unleashing the full potential of entrepreneurial spirit, we must address the health care challenge head-on. Universal health care is not merely a matter of public health policy; it is a crucial way that we can unlock the immense potential of every creative and ambitious person to enrich our communities and the nation as a whole. Let us seize this opportunity to create a more equitable, prosperous, and innovative future for all Americans.

Michael Moore is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Resident Urbanist. He has previously written for Streetsblog and Millennial American Dream, he has also been covered on Planetizen, the How We Work podcast, and StrongHaven. You can follow him on Threads, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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