6 Current Events Impacting Small Business

Date: March 17, 2014

From minimum wage increases to tax reform, what’s good and bad for small business?

From best to worst:

In Indiana, a bill that would repeal the business personal property tax, SB 1, passed the Senate in late January. At press time, it was on its way to the House. If it passes, it could spur more investment and job growth in the state.

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida proposed benefits for small business in his 2014-15 fiscal year budget, including decreasing the tax rate on commercial rentals, increasing the corporate income tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000, and lowering annual corporate filing fees for all businesses by more than $33 million.

In January, Pres. Obama nominated a new head of the Small Business Administration: Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles. If confirmed, Contreras-Sweet will fill a position that has been vacant since August 2013. Main Street collectively called the nomination a step in the right direction toward jobs creation.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a measure that would require businesses with five or more employees to provide up to five paid sick days per worker. The change would affect 40,000 businesses, including small businesses that can’t afford it.

Pres. Obama mentioned “small business” or “small businesses” only three times during the State of the Union address in January, touching on issues such as credit and exports—none of the top issues that NFIB members routinely cite in NFIB’s Problems & Priorities report (the most recent top issues were cost of health insurance; uncertainty over economic conditions; and cost of natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil). This shows how out of touch the administration is with small business needs.

Pres. Obama signed an executive order on Feb. 12 that increases the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25 per hour for workers on new and renewed government contracts. This fulfilled a promise from his State of the Union address to use his executive power to advance his policy goals. Opponents say he’s overreaching his authority, which will likely cause quarrels in Washington.

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