Proposed TikTok ban could squeeze businesses and organizations that depend on the digital platform

Congress is expected to vote to ban the TikTok social media platform if it's not first sold by its Chinese parent company. Aside from the politics, the move could cause trouble for the 150 million U.S. users and a lot of businesses and organizations that depend on the digital outlet to reach their customers and members.

In a Sugar Land auditorium, on Sunday mornings, the new Momentum Church packs-in crowds of worshipers, which is pretty remarkable, since it's only existed a handful of weeks. Pastor Daniel Gregory says the mostly Millennial and Gen-Z congregation comes from an aggressive social media campaign on TikTok, and other platforms. Without it? "We'd be, like, seven people meeting in a basement, somewhere," says Gregory. "Having the church that we have is a result of our being able to get our message out there to a broader reach of people."

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Across Houston, in the Sunnyside neighborhood, business at the Butter Funk Kitchen remains brisk. Last November, popular TikTok food reviewer Keith Lee offered a glowing recommendation of the restaurant to his millions of followers.

Owner Aaron Johnson says business exploded, "What a hell of a ride. It's been busier than my wildest dreams."

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The proposed sale, or ban of TikTok, came from a unanimous House committee vote that the popular social media site poses an unacceptable risk to national security by allowing the Chinese government to spy on and influence the American public. It's expected to get wide support from the full House, while those who depend on the digital platform say they'll be challenged without it. 

"We're going to find ways to broadcast a message as loud as possible, but you're taking away a microphone from us, if you do that," says Gregory.

Even if the House passes the measure, its future in the Senate is far from certain. Meantime, President Biden has indicated that he'd sign it if it gets to his desk.