NFIB Survey: Small Business Wants Bureaucrats to Back Off

Date: December 22, 2014

Georgia’s small-business owners oppose a proposed increase in the state minimum wage and don’t think politicians should be making decisions about how best to run their businesses.
That’s according to the results of the NFIB/Georgia Member Ballot, which also shows strong opposition to additional health-insurance mandates and mandatory sick leave.
“Unlike other groups, NFIB’s agenda is set solely by its members, not by a board of directors, and the Member Ballot is a crucial part of that process,” said Kyle Jackson, state director of NFIB/Georgia, the state’s largest small-business association, with over 7,000 dues-paying members representing a cross section of the state’s economy.
“We asked our members about the issues expected to come up in this year’s legislative session, and their answers came through loud and clear,” Jackson said.
When asked whether they favor a proposed increase in the state minimum wage, 89.6 percent said “no,” compared with 7.6 percent who support an increase with 2.8 percent who were undecided.
“There’s only so much money in the pot,” Jackson said. “If the government increases the cost of labor, small businesses would have to get by with fewer workers or make other cuts someplace else. On top of that, economists say raising the minimum wage doesn’t really help the people who need it most. If you have to pay more, you’re going to look for more-experienced workers. You can’t afford to take a chance on someone with no experience or limited skills.”
Likewise, 90.7 percent of respondents oppose efforts by some in the Legislature to force employers to give workers a guaranteed number of paid sick days. 
“Something like that might work for a large corporation, but small businesses are different. I know our members do everything they can to accommodate sick employees, but sick leave isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Some small businesses simply don’t have the money to pay someone who’s home sick and someone who’s filling in for them. The money just isn’t there.”
Meanwhile, 89.6 percent of respondents oppose efforts to require company health plans to cover specific conditions and treatments. 
“Our members don’t like health-insurance mandates because they drive up the cost for everyone while helping few, if any, of their employees,” Jackson said.
And 87.3 percent are against a plan to replace the current tax on motor fuel with a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax to fund highway construction and maintenance.
“Our members are always concerned by any discussion of raising taxes or imposing new fees on small businesses,” Jackson said. “Our members still haven’t recovered fully from the Great Recession, but any new legislative proposal with respect to transportation will ultimately be vetted by our membership in an additional special member ballot.”
The 2015 General Assembly begins on Jan. 13.

Related Content: Small Business News | Georgia

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