The Capitol in Washington
A view of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. REUTERS/Erin Scott

The San Diego region is home to a vibrant manufacturing cluster that spans many industries, including defense, aerospace, shipbuilding, medical devices and craft brewing to name just a few. Its success is due to our entrepreneurial spirit and local lawmakers prioritizing the growth of businesses large and small.

But legislation being discussed in Congress poses a threat to our businesses by stifling technological innovation in the name of antitrust action against big tech companies.

Technology and its array of business-friendly tools has become part of the fabric of business ownership. Better logistics drives efficiency while online sales and direct marketing create new clientele and growth.

I became an entrepreneur in 2008 with Inventiva Design, an online branding and marketing small business. Throughout the years, I have experienced the highs and lows of being a small business owner.

One of the lowest points came at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. We did not know what COVID-19 was, the stock market crashed and there were widespread lockdowns. The net result was my clients considering scaling back on spending or even terminating our relationship outright. 

To overcome this trying time, small businesses needed to be able to pivot at a moments’ notice while also becoming more efficient. To achieve this, my business, along with more than 70% of California’s small businesses, turned to digital tools. As a result, during the pandemic, my work increased by 30% with clients who wanted to communicate online and offer online services.

Partly because of this pivot to technology, San Diego recently was ranked number one in women-owned micro-businesses. A rising tide lifts all boats, and women are responsible for over half of the micro-business starts locally since the onset of the pandemic.

Despite the bustling growth, some lawmakers have decided to support anti-competitive legislation that could handcuff U.S. tech innovation and unintentionally harm small businesses like mine. 

Policymakers must consider the damage that misguided, anti-competitive proposals could inflict on places like San Diego, where Main Street Americans turned to technology to stay afloat and thrive during the pandemic. Not only would these rules threaten to roll back the gains small businesses have made over the last two years, they would also cause grave economic repercussions at a time when inflation is soaring, the stock market is sputtering and investment in new startups is drying up.

Simply put, this legislation would create burdensome regulations and red tape that may lead to platforms having less access to data and data science which powers digital ads. These are the same tools that helped creators like myself understand my target market and improve growth metrics.

Small businesses are the bread and butter of the American economy. This is not the time to undermine the hard work of small business owners who depend on technological advancements to sustain their business.

I urge San Diego’s Congressional delegation to support small business owners like me and work to prevent anti-tech legislation from becoming law.

Claudia Bolognesi lives and works in San Diego. She is owner of Inventiva Design.