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Thomas Gallatin / May 26, 2020

'Essential' Big Businesses Boom While Small Businesses Bust

Government is showing a lot of favoritism toward big business during the COVID-19 crisis.

The government’s response to the China Virus pandemic provides much to be criticized, with one of the biggest things being its instinct to err on the side of over-regulation than under-regulation. Businesses all across America have felt the financial squeeze as many have been forced by state governments to fully or partially suspend operations indefinitely. However, for two of the nation’s largest companies, business is booming.

The country’s biggest retailers, Amazon and Walmart, have seen sales numbers skyrocket and have increased hiring to meet the demand. For Amazon and its virtual sales, this is understandable. Brick-and-mortar Walmart stores, however, unlike many small businesses, have been deemed by government as “essential” business because they sell such a wide diversity of “essential” goods.

The Resurgent’s R. James King argues, “The problem is that the pandemic is hardly the first time the government has intervened in the affairs of business. Growing bodies of legislation and agency regulation place increasingly high burdens on business to function. All businesses bear these burdens, but giants like Walmart and Amazon can afford the incremental cost increases, while mom-and-pop stores must pay for expensive third-party services or invest hours of extra work to meet the requirements. Big businesses are just fine with regulation when it inflicts greater proportional damage on the competition. They are a large yacht planing on top of the waves as the rowboats of small business toss and founder.”

And to add insult to injury, many of the products both of these mega retailers sell come from China. Therefore, in a twisted way, the country responsible for unleashing this global pandemic onto the world — which has caused millions of American their jobs and nearly 100,000 their lives — is now profiting from the very Americans whose lives have been turned upside down. Meanwhile, small American businesses that have a greater likelihood of selling products manufactured in the U.S. have been forced to shut down. It’s high time for these paradigms to be rectified.

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