Small business drives America’s economic success. That was the message that Brad Close, NFIB’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy, delivered to viewers of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal last week. You can watch the full interview here.
As Close explained, policymakers sometimes forget that not all businesses are created equal. Laws and regulations designed to help big firms can sometimes have the opposite effect on independent business owners with five or 10 employees.
NFIB has a unique way of ensuring it speaks for these smaller entrepreneurs.
“One of the great things about our organization, NFIB, is that our members set the policy,” Close explained. “We ask them questions on all these policy issues, and they tell us what they like and what they don’t. We are charged with taking their instructions to Capitol Hill and all the 50 state capitals to either oppose something or support something based on what they tell us to do.”
Close said that over and over again, members tell NFIB they want government to get out of the way, or to “do no harm.” Unfortunately, one-size-fits-all policy proposals — like a national minimum wage of $15 — can put small businesses in a bind. For companies that are only just meeting payroll, the sudden increase in labor costs has to be offset, and raising prices might not be an option. That can mean reduced benefits, slashed hours, or even cutting staff — options that end up hurting the workers the legislation was meant to help.
Higher labor costs also could threaten the outlook of job creators and slow economic growth. NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index, a key measure watched closely by the Fed and Wall Street, has surged to record levels in light of the small business tax deduction and regulatory relief.
We need to keep the momentum going, which is why NFIB will continue speaking out on behalf of making the small business tax relief permanent and cutting even more red tape on behalf of our members.