Main Street Alliance: Paid leave would help with labor shortage, MSA small business member to testify to Joint Economic Committee

October 27th – As Democrats continue to negotiate to Build Back Better, Main Street Alliance Member and Small Business Owner Daniel Swenson-Klatt will testify before Joint Economic Committee members at 3 pm ET today. He will highlight what investments are needed to support workforce participation. Investments in our care economy especially paid leave and child care, are critical to ensuring full workforce participation, especially for women of color.

“My staff need a way to take time off for health and personal reasons that doesn’t put my business or their job at jeopardy.” writes Daniel Swenson-Klatt, owner of Butter Bakery Cafe in his hearing testimony. “These events aren’t the type of thing that my staff can schedule, and I can’t budget for them.  A paid leave program would give us the support we need to remain strong as businesses and hold on to our valuable workers.”

A federal paid leave program would be critical to the ongoing labor shortage facing small businesses. 10.6 million workers left their jobs in the past year due to caregiving responsibilities. Paid family leave could help 37% of unemployed Americans return to work sooner.

In addition to a federal paid leave program, Swenson-Klatt will highlight how the investments in infrastructure, transportation, and child care in the Build Back Better plan will also support working families.

“My applicant pool is severely limited by access and affordability to high-quality child care.  I need a level playing field to allow employees with children who’d love to work in customer service settings be able to afford and easily access a child care center or family child care program. But as things stand now, those staff members with children work limited hours,” writes Swenson-Klatt.

Swenson-Klatt’s testimony comes as over 1,000 businesses and executive names are being presented to the White House and Congressional leaders exemplifying strong and growing support for a federal paid leave program in the Build Back Better bill.