Reflecting on the last year and a half, and looking ahead at what will surely be a rocky road to recovery, the positive force of technology is inescapably top of mind. Not only have the investments made by technology companies here in Colorado transformed and diversified our economy for the better – particularly considering the downturn in tourism – but we have seen an incredible empowerment of small business owners through free and affordable technology platforms.
This latter point, the notion of “digitally empowered” small businesses, is particularly important as Congress continues consideration of antitrust legislation aimed at the tech sector when they return from August recess. While we of course saw a heartbreaking number of business closures throughout the pandemic, it is difficult to adequately communicate the role that technology played in enabling those who did survive. Safe commerce, connections with customers, and efficiencies within workplaces would not have been possible without the tools provided by, yes, the very same companies investing billions in Colorado’s future.
So, this begs the question: why go after the companies actively buoying our small business community? And, importantly, why now? It’s impossible to turn on the news without seeing reports of political jockeying around major legislative efforts in Washington, including around infrastructure. To spend valuable legislative time, holding combative hearings with tech CEOs and lambasting these companies for their size, appears to be a major departure from the priority issues that voters – small business owners included – send our representatives to Washington to handle.
Colorado’s political leadership is in a unique position to continue welcoming investments from the world’s leading innovators and fostering the availability of their platforms – and that’s exactly what we hope they’ll do. Instead of pursuing lawsuits against these companies, and poorly timed legislative efforts in Congress that only serve to limit access to critical digital tools, we hope they will treat these companies as partners moving forward. We can’t afford to put politics ahead of our economic recovery.