As our state continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that our economic system emerges stronger and extra resilient than ever earlier than. The pandemic has proven us loud and clear that nothing is extra necessary to this progress than embracing expertise and innovation.
With out an surroundings that fosters competitors inside the tech sector and an open and accessible web, we won’t be able to step into and capitalize on the realities of a Twenty first-century economic system.
That is very true in Ohio as conventional manufacturing and power manufacturing sectors and jobs have shifted.
In Ohio, notably in Columbus, we’ve seen firsthand the advantages of expertise and innovation.
As lawmakers in Washington contemplate how to answer the persevering with evolution and progress of the tech sector and intensifying competitors within the web, it’s essential that we proceed to foster the innovation that has improved lives and supported our economic system.
We can not afford to go backward.
Sadly, some members of Congress at the moment help anti-competitive laws that would handcuff tech innovation.
For instance, the so-called American Choice and Innovation Online Act would create separate guidelines for on-line marketplaces than those who govern brick and mortar companies, making a extremely inequitable panorama for small companies; and the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021 would have a chilling impact on the expertise mergers and acquisitions house, primarily disenfranchising modern startups and disincentivizing potential innovation.
The unintended penalties of such laws could be dire.
By hamstringing job creators, the payments being thought-about might scale back job alternatives, result in the elimination of providers, and improve shopper prices.
The laws might additionally derail the financial restoration of small companies, who’ve used technological innovation to propel enterprise via platforms to succeed in new prospects and to bridge the hole between city and rural communities.
Moreover, as a frontrunner in international innovation, the U.S. has used expertise to guard its residents and defend our allies; and the laws might hamper essential improvements important to advancing our nation’s protection and cyber safety technique.
We’re already at a degree the place expertise powers a lot of our state’s financial exercise and employment.
In reality, Ohio’s technology sector has an estimated impression of practically $35 billion on our state’s economic system and employs greater than 390,000 individuals, representing about 7% of our state’s whole workforce.
When trying on the impression of an financial sector on staff and households, it’s additionally necessary to drill down on wages. Within the expertise sector, staff in Ohio earn an roughly 77% greater median wage than all different occupations within the state.
Moreover, small businesses, the spine of our economic system, are setting an instance of how expertise might help overcome challenges of the pandemic and carry the teachings realized right into a post-COVID world.
Over 90 p.c of Ohio small companies elevated the usage of digital instruments throughout the pandemic, and greater than half plan to make use of extra digital instruments post-COVID-19.
We should construct on this success, not stymie its progress.
Edward Starks is the CEO of Starks Consulting Group (SCG) in Columbus.