Petition to Support Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth
We call upon President Barack Obama, members of the 114th Congress, and elected officials at the state and local level to support pro-growth policies to spark small business growth, strong job creation, healthy investment, and a return to robust entrepreneurship.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy – the engines of economic growth, job creation and innovation. Many of us have sacrificed extraordinary time, capital and financial security to build our enterprises. But we don’t complain about this sacrifice – that’s what it takes to build a durable enterprise and succeed in a competitive global marketplace.
We are driven by our passion, optimism and the promise of the American dream. Our success as small business owners means more jobs in our communities, and new innovations that are solving the world’s greatest challenges. Successful entrepreneurs strengthen U.S. competitiveness and model entrepreneurial attributes for our youth as well as for individuals around the globe. America’s free enterprise system, and the entrepreneurs who succeed in it, are admired throughout the world. We are determined to preserve this standing.
The U.S. needs its entrepreneurs to succeed. Therefore, we come together and urge our political leaders to advance policies that boost business confidence, investment and create an environment that encourages start-up activity and robust economic growth.
Sadly, the level of entrepreneurship is decreasing in the U.S. and business start-up activity is at a low point. The current economic recovery is the weakest on record, and job creation is anemic because business confidence remains lower than it should be. Entrepreneurs are operating under tenuous and competitive conditions while they experience higher health coverage costs, higher taxes, and the threat of more regulations.
Still, we strongly believe the U.S. can return to the days of robust economic growth. But pro-growth policies are required to make that happen.
First, the tax code mess must be fixed. We call upon lawmakers to enact comprehensive tax reform. Tax rates must be globally competitive, which includes rate cuts for individuals and corporations, full business expensing, a broadening of the tax base and simplification. The tax system must encourage capital formation, and the death tax must be repealed. Entrepreneurs need capital, and the incentive to invest. A stable, simplified tax system is a top priority for small business owners.
Second, our nation’s health care system requires a modern framework to make it responsive to consumer and small business needs. The Afordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has increased the cost of health insurance for small businesses and the self-employed. The law has imposed new taxes and costly mandates on small business owners. New compliance requirements – like expanded reporting, and the employer and individual mandates – impose new costs on small firms. Obamacare has dictated how health insurance plans are designed, which has driven costs higher and eliminated affordable choices for small business owners. Entrepreneurs and the self-employed have not been able to “keep the health coverage they currently have” as promised. The individual mandate is a burden on the self-employed, and deters start-up activity. Taxing health insurance companies, health insurance plans and our most innovative companies in the health care sector (like small medical device manufacturers) raises health insurance costs and hurts innovation. Obamacare must be repealed. Reforms must encourage transparency and competition, while incentivizing consumer engagement and healthy lifestyles. We support reforms that will help to establish a national marketplace for health insurance, expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and the use of consumer-directed health insurance. We need medical liability reform and changes that bring market discipline and choice into the health care system. Consumers and patients must control our nation’s health care system, not the federal government.
Third, the regulatory system must be modernized and streamlined…the tidal wave of new regulations from Washington must be stopped. Already, small businesses with 20 employees or less are burdened with more than $10,000 per-employee to comply with federal regulations, according to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy. A regulatory “time out” is needed. Regulatory excess is squeezing the profitability and survivability of many small firms, and uncertainty is stunting job creation and investment. We support efforts to streamline and modernize the regulatory process, require proposed regulations to undergo a cost-benefit analysis, and give small business owners a real voice in the regulatory process. We support a strong sunset provision for every rule, requiring regulators to justify the need for each regulation after a prescribed period of time. We strongly urge Congress to use its authority to reject new regulations that are an “overreach,” or do not take in account their disproportionate impact on small businesses.
Fourth, small business owners and entrepreneurs need access to new markets and customers. The U.S. cannot afford an era of protectionism. Entrepreneurs want seamless access to international markets to sell their goods and services. The U.S. must continue to lead on trade and engage other nations in new agreements. More trade will lead to a more prosperous, interdependent and peaceful world. Trade must be encouraged and made simpler. The U.S. must continue to strengthen IP rights and protections around the globe.
Fifth, the U.S. needs to be the best place in the world to do business. Pro-investment policies, attained through certainty on the regulatory and tax front, will increase investment in small businesses and in critical industries like energy, telecommunications and technology. Such investment will drive new innovations, which will produce greater efficiencies and productivity. These innovations will lead to improvements in the quality of life, and for our environment. Investment is the key to growth and progress. Our policies must take into account the prowess of our international competitors in welcoming capital. Policies must create stability for investors and businesses of all sizes. Therefore, elected officials must pledge to address our nation’s deep fiscal crises. The time to act is now, not after our economy and entrepreneurs have gone off the fiscal cliff.
The U.S. must create a first-class ecosystem for its entrepreneurs and small business owners. We are doing our part to help restore strong economic growth, but we need political leaders who will support and advance policies to help us build stronger businesses and create new enterprises. In turn, we will create more jobs, invest more resources in our communities, produce great innovations and strengthen entrepreneurship for this generation and generations to come.
- President Barack Obama
- Your Senators
- Your Representative
If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from SBE Council.