Thanks to digital tools, Frankie DiCarlantonio’s small business is ahead of the curve, and he wants to keep it that way. But broad, sweeping tech antitrust legislation in Congress could unravel the growth Scaffidi’s Restaurant and Tavern in Steubenville, Ohio, has experienced since it opened in 2009.

Back then, Scaffidi’s was in a small home-like setting with seating for just 25 people. Today, the Italian restaurant, famous for its homemade gnocchi and pasta sauces, has expanded—a lot. Its main location seats 250 people; Frankie also runs a quick-service restaurant with build-your-own-pasta bowls and a traditional catering business with both on- and off-site options.

At work behind the scenes is a suite of digital tools and services that make managing and running the growing enterprise easy, efficient, and cost-effective and make competing against national restaurant chains possible.

“We try to bring the feel of Grandma’s house on Sunday to our customers, but being a small business, it’s hard to compete,” Frankie says. “So we value our digital tools more than anything. They helped us through COVID.”

S. 2992 and other laws being considered would change how the digital economy works, forcing large technology companies like Google, Amazon, and others to break apart the integrated products and services that help small businesses. At the end of the day, Frankie says the argument over the legislation comes down to what works. Small businesses are choosing what platforms are right for them, but breaking apart integrated tools and services might mean working with four or five platforms instead of one or two.

“It’s hard enough nowadays for small businesses,” Frankie says.  “As a small business that utilizes technology all day, every day … breaking up a company is just going to do nothing but cause me extra work and extra money.” 

More expensive, less effective digital tools will mean small restaurants like Scaffidi’s won’t be able to compete with the deeper pockets and multi-million dollar ad budgets of national chains and franchises. 

“It’s just gonna revert to David and Goliath where we’re just fighting the bigger guy all the time,” Frankie says. A fight that few small businesses can win. 

“You know what is best for your business. Forcing businesses to be listed on a variety of platforms just to get the same [result] they have right now is just causing unnecessary work,” he says. 

The threat of change also comes at a rather inopportune time—just as the COVID-19 pandemic is winding down and businesses are getting used to the new normal. 

“Businesses need to focus on recovery,” he says. “We need to get our footing. Honestly, we need a break.” 

Not new laws that make it harder to compete. 

“In some cases, you’re going to hurt small businesses to the point where they can’t compete in their market anymore.”

— Frankie DiCarlantonio, Scaffidi’s Restaurant & Tavern

Vote No on S.2992