More than 20 business owners and members of the Main Street Employers Coalition convened in Sarasota, Florida yesterday for a roundtable discussion with Congressman Greg Steube. The key topic – the Section 199A deduction – was one that’s near and dear to the hearts of tens of millions of Main Street businesses nationwide, yet is scheduled to sunset at the end of next year.

The businesses at the event were a microcosm of the broader Main Street community nationwide and represented a wide array of sizes and industries. On hand were contractors, beverage distributors, manufacturers, roofers, shopping center operators, and others. It confirms what we’ve said many times before: private companies are the heart of local economies nationwide.

The data backs this up as well. In Congressman Steube’s 17th congressional district, small and family-owned  businesses employ three out of four workers. Those figures hold true when you broaden the lens. Nationwide, private companies supply 77 percent of the jobs.

Despite the outsized positive impact Section 199A has on these job creators, the deduction is scheduled to expire at the end of next year.

Yesterday’s roundtable was organized to highlight this challenge and provide real-world examples of what the deduction means for these businesses, how it’s helped them invest in their communities, and other tangible benfits. It also comes on the heels of the formation of several “tax teams,” including the Main Street panel Congressman Steube co-chairs, which  tasked with identifying legislative solutions to avert the 2025 fiscal cliff.

The 199A pass-through deduction is the only tax provision protecting thousands of local communities from fewer jobs and more boarded up buildings.  It reduces the tax burden on local businesses to make them more competitive while helping to level the effective rates paid by private and public companies. Congress needs to commit to preserving these communities and these jobs by making the Section 199A deduction permanent.

As an original cosponsor of the House 199A permanence bill, it’s safe to say the Congressman “gets it” and we’re grateful for his participation in yesterday’s event, and for his broader leadership in the fight for Main Street businesses. We’re looking forward to hosting many more of these events going forward. With so much at stake, we can’t afford not to.