The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
The Kennedy Record on Small Business - (Democratic National Committee Release)
October 10, 1960
One of the great challenges of the sixties will be to strengthen the small independent businessman against the large business units which threaten to crowd him from the American economic scene - and to reverse the disastrous policies which are destroying this historic cornerstone of our free enterprise system. - Senator John F. Kennedy.
I. A more equitable tax structure.

During passage of the 1954 Revenue Act he worked to include provisions for liberalized depreciation, 2-year carryback of business losses, and other measures beneficial to small business.

He cosponsored the Small Business Tax Adjustment Act of 1958, which contains eight features to soften the tax impact on small- and medium-sized firms.

He voted to repeal the 3-percent tax on freight shipped by common carrier. This removes a competitive advantage enjoyed by big companies who operate their own trucks.

II. He has vigorously opposed the high-interest-rate policy which deprived small businessmen of credit at reasonable cost. He pointed out we must reverse the high interest rate and tight money policy which have cut off vital credit from small businesses anxious to expand.

III. Antitrust laws: He has supported every effort to strengthen the enforcement of antitrust and to prevent unfair competition resulting from pressures applied by large chainstore operations.

He has offered legislation to prevent special discounts to buyers seeking to use this method to force their smaller competitors out of business.

He supported the 1958 amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act, closing a loophole through which big food chains escaped the antitrust laws.

Senator Kennedy joined other Democrats in passing Public Law 86-107, which makes Clayton Act antitrust orders final. Previously a violator could postpone compliance up to 10 years.

IV. Senator Kennedy has recognized the vital importance of credit to the small businessman.

He supported the Small Business Investment Company Act, the landmark legislation which created special lending institutions to serve these small business communities, and with other Democratic leaders he strengthened this act by means of improving amendments in 1959.

Senator Kennedy said, "We must widen the sources of credit for the small business man. The Small Business Administration has failed to press rigorously the, goal of making long-term credit available to individual businessmen".

V. Government contracts.

One of his earliest speeches in the Senate was in support of a revision of the Department of Defense memorandum in order to permit small businessmen to obtain a large share of defense contracts.

In the 85th Congress he actively supported the bill making it possible for smaller business firms to receive a larger share of Government contracts. Again in the 86th Congress he supported legislation to permit small businessmen to receive a larger share of defense contracts.

A larger number of contracts must be set aside for small business - small business must be allowed to bid competitively on the high dollar contracts which year by year they are capable of fulfilling and they must be assured of subcontracts as well as a chance to supply the military spare parts which they can often produce more economically than can large industry. - Senator John F. Kennedy.
Citation: John F. Kennedy: "The Kennedy Record on Small Business - (Democratic National Committee Release)", October 10, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25753.
 
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project