Small Business Marks Victories in Congress, the Courts, and More

Date: December 15, 2022

We look back on 2022 and some of the most significant victories for small business

2022 was a challenging year for many small businesses, with major economic difficulties like runaway inflation, supply chain disruptions, and historically high rates of unfilled jobs. Aggressive lawmakers and regulators also threatened to upset Main Street’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, small business owners can be proud of the results of their advocacy to keep America’s small businesses strong and independent as they emerge from the pandemic.

Congress

Throughout this past Congress, NFIB members advocated against bills that proposed increased taxes, burdensome regulations, and new government mandates that would have made it harder for small business to survive and grow. During the 2022 midterm election, six NFIB members were newly elected as members of Congress.

  • NFIB stopped all proposed labor mandates and additional Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) enforcement from becoming law in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, formerly known as the Build Back Better Act. These proposals included a radical rewrite of labor law to the detriment of small business owners (the Protecting the Right to Organize Act), a seven-day paid sick leave mandate (the Healthy Families Act), and a ten-fold increase in OSHA penalties.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act was also set to include direct tax increases on small businesses, the most threatening of which was a new 3.8% tax called the Small Business Surtax. NFIB fought to remove the tax from the final version of the bill, saving small businesses an 11% increase in taxes. 
  • NFIB fought to keep the Small Business Deduction for businesses organized as sole proprietorships, S-Corporations, partnerships, and LLCs. NFIB will continue to fight to make the up to 20% Small Business Deduction permanent (Form 1040, line 13), as it is set to expire after 2025. NFIB also pushed back against the elimination of stepped-up basis tax treatment and an increased corporate tax rate.

State Capitals

It’s not just Washington, D.C. where NFIB members are active. NFIB and its members advocate for small business interests in all 50 state capitals.

  • In Mississippi, NFIB launched an ad campaign to eliminate the state income tax. Soon after, the governor signed a bill that would eliminate the state’s lowest 4% tax bracket altogether as well as reduce the 5% tax bracket to 4% by 2026, along with several other tax reductions.
  • In Virginia, NFIB launched the Small Business Recovery Plan, an advertising and advocacy campaign urging the state government to pass tax and regulatory relief, provide financial assistance to small businesses, and reform the state’s stretched-thin unemployment insurance trust fund balance.
  • In New York, NFIB members’ activism successfully opposed a campaign to pass single-payer healthcare in the state, stopping $250 billion in new taxes and government-run healthcare.

Research

NFIB is also one of the most significant research groups reporting on small businesses.

  • On Sept. 13, NFIB and Visa hosted the Small Business Economic Roadshow in Des Moines, Iowa, a small business event where NFIB Research Center Executive Director Holly Wade presented on topics including inflation, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and the possibility of a recession. Another event was held in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 28.
  • Throughout the pandemic, NFIB collected data for the COVID-19 Small Business Survey Series, a series of COVID-19 related surveys assessing the impact of the health crisis on small business operations. In July, NFIB also put out a special report entitled Small Business and Inflation, examining how the rapid rate of inflation had affected small business owners.
  • The NFIB Research Foundation has published the Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report since 1973, and 2022 was no different with a new report for every month of this year.

The Courts

NFIB’s advocacy reaches beyond Congress and state legislatures. The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is the voice for small business in the nation’s courts, as well as a legal resource for small business owners nationwide.

  • NFIB v. OSHA. In November of 2021, NFIB sued the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to prevent its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS would have mandated that employers with 100 or more employees have employees vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and mask at work. In January of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with NFIB’s arguments and blocked enforcement of the ETS. Soon thereafter, OSHA withdrew the mandate.
  • West Virginia v. EPA. The U.S. Supreme Court reined in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and limited its authority to address climate change without clear Congressional approval. NFIB filed an amicus brief arguing that the EPA needed clear authorization from Congress before imposing costly and significant regulations on the energy sector, and the Court agreed that Congress provided no such authority in the Clean Air Act.
  • Boechler v. IRS. In April 2022, a unanimous Supreme Court stopped the Tax Court from refusing to hear a taxpayer’s challenge to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessment. The Supreme Court agreed with NFIB’s amicus brief, which argued that the 30-day deadline to file a petition in the Tax Court for review of an IRS collection assessment is not an ironclad deadline and that extenuating circumstances should allow challenges beyond the 30-day deadline.

Looking ahead, NFIB continues to advocate for the priorities of small business owners and recently launched a long-term, multi-million-dollar advertising campaign focused on making the crucial Small Business Deduction permanent. You can join the fight to make the Small Business Deduction permanent by completing a short NFIB survey on how your Small Business Deduction has made a difference for your business, employees, or community in 2022.

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