America cannot afford a government default on our national debt—particularly small businesses across Florida and throughout the country. It is critical that our lawmakers in Washington come together in a bipartisan fashion to avoid this worst-case scenario and help protect the small-business community while fostering economic growth and spurring job creation.
According to the Treasury Department’s predictions, the federal government is set to run out of money to pay its debts in June, ratcheting up pressure for the White House and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to reach an agreement. As these negotiations intensify, which they are sure to do, lawmakers should use this as an opportunity to advance pro-growth policies and solutions that will help strengthen small businesses, create jobs, and boost our economy—all while ensuring our nation can continue to fulfill its financial obligations.
A government default would have disastrous and far-reaching implications for Florida businesses, threatening our state’s vibrant, homegrown small-business community in particular. The fiscal domino effect—including job losses, stock market instability, rising interest rates, and a breakdown in credit markets—that would happen because of a default would have a devastating impact on local and Main Street businesses here in Florida and nationwide.
The level of economic uncertainty in conjunction with the limited availability of capital would shrink investments and risk-taking activity, undermining entrepreneurship, posing a threat to small start-ups, and slowing new business creation. Moreover, if the government defaults on its debt and the U.S. credit rating slips, interest rates would rise and business loans would get more expensive, making it even harder for aspiring entrepreneurs to ever realize their dreams.
Additionally, small businesses that serve as government contractors would see their operations almost immediately halted and payments delayed. Consumers, including veterans, seniors, and farmers, would also be severely and negatively impacted by a government default. Just about every Floridian would pay a hefty price if lawmakers do not act quickly and aggressively to make a deal to responsibly raise the debt limit.
Clearly, nobody wins if both sides fail reach a compromise and the government defaults on its debt. That is why our elected officials must come together to reach across the aisle and come up with a reasonable solution that will secure our nation’s fiscal future. Pairing a raise in the debt ceiling with sensible spending cuts is a responsible solution to put our country on the path to a more sustainable economic and financial future.
However, in addition to that, the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and small businesses throughout the state and nationwide are hopeful that our federal legislators will also use these discussions as an opportunity to advance pro-growth policies that will help expand our economy while empowering Florida’s job creators to continue what they do best—providing and supporting employment opportunities for hardworking Floridians.
This is neither the time nor the place for brinksmanship or partisan politics. This impacts all Americans regardless of their political affiliation, so our federal lawmakers must put aside their differences and find a responsible, reasonable solution to the debt ceiling as soon as possible. Florida’s congressional delegation should take the lead in ensuring the solution they pass is one that will strengthen and support Florida businesses, consumers, and communities.
Julio Fuentes is the president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
- Matt Gaetz Champions the Put Zombie Donors to Rest Act - May 30, 2023, 6:00 am
- Kathy Castor Introduces the PREVENT HPV Cancers Act - May 29, 2023, 12:00 pm
- Florida Delegation Wants the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum Located in Jacksonville - May 29, 2023, 6:00 am