NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: February 08, 2021

For the legislative and political week February 8-12

Welcome to the February 8 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business advocacy team in Sacramento.

  • We are less than two weeks away from the February 19 deadline to introduce bills, but NFIB is already working full speed on three issues.
    • Tax Conformity. Assembly Bill 281 would conform state tax treatment of PPP loans to the federal government’s treatment of them. NFIB California is part of a broad coalition to get this measure passed. Click here to read the coalition’s statement in support of AB 281.
    • Liability Protection. NFIB is busy helping lay the groundwork for a legislative proposal to exempt small-business owners from liability for a claim made by someone that they contracted the COVID-19 at their place of business.
    • SALT. As NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate Kevin Pedrotti occasionally reminds people, the fastest way to get something passed is to stuff it in the state budget, which Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest proposal does on two issues of importance to small business. Passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limited state and local tax deductions (SALT) to $10,000, costing some S Corporations, which don’t pay the federal corporate income tax rate but instead pass their profits through to shareholders who then pay taxes at the same individual rates as partnerships and LLCs do. The governor’s budget proposal includes a provision allowing S Corporation to restructure their state income taxes in a way that reduces their federal income taxes. On another matter, the governor’s budget proposal also includes a $100 million increase in the Main Street Small Business Tax Credit for small businesses that increase their number of employees.
  • The Legislative Analyst’s Office report on the governor’s budget proposals can be read here.
  • Other bills of interest NFIB is tracking …
    • Small Business Grants. Senate Bill 74, the Keep California Working Act, is getting bipartisan support for its call to appropriate $2.6 billion dollars to the Office of Small Business Advocate to administer grants to small businesses and nonprofits.
    • PAGA. Assembly Bill 385 would make modifications to the state’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 that would make it somewhat less onerous and threatening on small-business owners. Unless Republican Heath Flora’s measure can get Democratic support, its passage is doubtful.
    • Business License Fees. Senate Bill 49 “would prohibit any state agency from collecting any regulatory license fee imposed on a business subject to licensure by a state agency that meets certain criteria, including that the business has temporarily ceased operations in response to a COVID-19 stay-at-home order, as that term is defined. The bill would similarly prohibit a city or county that licenses business activity pursuant to the above-described authority from collecting any regulatory license fee imposed on a business meeting those same criteria.“
  • NFIB California is bringing to its members’ attention the Connected Commerce Council for anyone interested in signing a group letter to policymakers urging them to support digital platform partners that are helping small businesses. The point the CCC wants to make with elected officials is that government-led investigations and lawsuits against digital platforms, services, and marketplaces threaten small-business success. Learn more here.

Mediawise …

  • In a guest editorial in CalMatters, NFIB California Leadership Council Member Manny Cosme writes about the destruction Assembly Bill 5 has caused, “Ever since its passage, AB 5 has become a trial attorney’s favorite new excuse to bring suit against hardworking business owners in order to make a profit. With its technicalities and its retroactive application, AB 5 simply makes it too easy for entrepreneurial lawyers to take advantage of the law. So, lawsuit after lawsuit continues to be filed, and business after business will continue to go under.”
  • The Citizens Journal of Ventura County published NFIB California’s news release commenting on the latest COVID-19 survey of the NFIB membership.

Nationally,

  • Next NFIB webinar: SBA Updates: PPP, EIDL, and Venue Grants. Wednesday, February 10, 9 a.m. Pacific. Click here to register.
  • Last Tuesday, February 2, NFIB sent a letter of opposition to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate opposing the Raise the Wage Act of 2021. The legislation would increase the federal minimum wage by more than 30% shortly after enactment and more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour in four years. NFIB previously opposed the Raise the Wage Act of 2019.
  • NFIB will not fight this issue alone. In a Friday, February 5, letter to key congressional leaders, co-signed by 30 other groups, it debuted a united front in opposition to the Raise the Wage Act.
  • Speaking of the minimum wage, did you catch the results of NFIB’s latest COVID survey, showing, among other things, that 74% of small employers report increasing the federal minimum wage would negatively impact their business.
  • NFIB also released its monthly Jobs Report the same day showing 51% of small-business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January.

Next Main Street Minute, February 15.

Photo snip courtesy of California State Assembly website

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