Many aspects of our everyday lives today were nonexistent just a few decades ago. Home computers weren’t common until the ’80s, the first smartphone became available in the ’90s, the first smartphone with internet became available in the 2000s and the first iPhone was released in 2007. 

From online shopping to social media and online advertising — we now have the world at our fingertips, with more and more Americans spending time online. 

This digital revolution has powered the digital economy, resulting in increased innovations, productivity and efficiencies; lower costs; new products, services and markets. 

The technological innovations that emerged from this revolution have created many new opportunities for people nationwide. Personally, these advancements have enabled me to become a small-business owner. In the past, establishing a small business required significant investments, physical stores and marketing techniques that hardly reached potential customers beyond the town, let alone the state.

While there will always be risks associated with betting on yourself, digital innovations and American technology have helped mitigate those risks and allow entrepreneurs to think and operate more creatively. 

To thrive and remain competitive in 2023, small-business owners must establish a digital presence and utilize online tools. Our elected leaders need to implement policies that support the American technology companies that these businesses rely on. Failure to do so may cause these small businesses to face tougher competition from larger companies, resulting in less revenue and slower growth.

Thanks to new technologies and the American technology companies at the forefront of these innovations, small businesses now have access to a digital marketplace that provides ample opportunities to grow and compete with bigger companies. 

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These digital innovations help us advertise and market our products and services online, use social media to stand out and grab attention in crowded markets, automate processes and improve efficiencies. As a small-business owner, I appreciate the availability of free or affordable tools and services that help me pursue my passions, advance in my entrepreneurial journey and also free up my time. 

And I know I’m not alone in this sentiment. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study found that small-business owners find success and freedom when they turn to technology. Today, 93% of small-business owners use at least one tech platform or tool to run their business, and 80% say technology “helps them have more time to spend away from their businesses and with their family.” 

The more small-business owners can incorporate technology into their businesses, the more successful they will be. In fact, 84% of small-business owners using at least six tech platforms and tools saw an increase in profits and 82% saw an increase in sales, compared to owners using just one. 

American technology and innovation are transforming small businesses, the economy and lives. Across the country, small business accounts for 99.9% of all American businesses and employs 61.7 million Americans. This economic impact cannot go unrecognized. But going down the wrong policy path can wipe out small-business success and the economic growth that comes with it. 

I hope our elected leaders in Washington and Utah can stand up for small businesses and the American technology companies they rely on. 

Suzanne Gleed is the president of SGW Investments.