PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Final Campaign Weekend: What the Candidates Need to Be Focusing on to Support Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

By at 4 November, 2022, 12:18 pm

NEWS

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – It’s the weekend before the 2022 midterm elections, and candidates for Congress will be making their final pitch to voters out on the campaign trail.  The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) notes that these politicians will no doubt be stopping by Main Street to profess their love for local small businesses. Indeed, they will make promises to rectify the tough conditions these businesses are currently facing along with actions and votes they will pursue if elected – or re-elected – to Congress. SBE Council has made note of the priority issues the candidates should be talking about, and more importantly the specific actions they should be pledging to take in the next Congress.

“Candidates need to be specific about what they support – or what they have introduced, sponsored, supported, or opposed if they are currently in Congress – to provide relief and certainty for entrepreneurs and their small businesses. Business owners do not want more inflationary government spending, tax increases or burdensome red tape that work to fuel higher costs and economic instability. They want actions and measures that lighten government burdens and encourage private sector investment, innovation and entrepreneurship. Candidates running for office need to be stating they will work to fully reverse course on the policy mess that has been created in Washington, D.C.,” said SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

As noted by various surveys conducted by SBE Council this past year, inflation, taxes, and supply chain challenges topped the list of small business “pain points.” In SBE Council’s survey of “startups during the pandemic” released last spring “lower taxes and a simpler tax system” and “inflation” were the top issues. In the group’s June 2022 survey of more established business owners “inflation,” “affordable health coverage,” “supply chain issues” and “tax relief and reform” were the top issues.

Whether it’s new entrepreneurs or more established business owners, they are not happy with the policy agenda being advanced by President Biden and Congress. Only 9% of startup entrepreneurs said that “President Biden’s policies make it easy to start and grow a business.”  And only 5% said “Congress’s policies are helping the economy and small businesses like mine.”

On specific measures, Kerrigan listed the following priorities and positions that candidates should be addressing and promising to act on:

Tax Relief and Tax Code Simplicity: Making small business tax relief provisions within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent as a start, simplifying the tax system, and not ramping up intrusive Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits that will be coming via “Inflation Reduction Act” spending.

Affordable Health Coverage and More Choices: Small businesses are facing some of their highest increases in health insurance premiums in years. The Biden Administration has halted new choices advanced during the last Administration that were coming to market. In SBE Council’s recent survey on small business views on health care: “More than 9-in-10 small business owners say Congress’ top healthcare priority should be policies that address the rising cost and dwindling coverage of health insurance.” Businesses and their employees want to choose the type of health coverage they need and can afford. They do not want the government to be making or mandating these choices.

Regulatory Relief and Certainty: The growth of the regulatory state and breadth of regulatory proposals under the Biden Administration have been staggering. The cumulative intrusive impact has led to less investment, higher costs, and deeper economic anxiety. From the Department of Labor (DOL) pushing to make it more difficult for people to become entrepreneurs and self-employed, to the National Labor Relation’s Board (NLRB) proposing to blow up the franchise model and independent-contractor model of business ownership, hyper-regulating the tech sector and platforms, price controls and eviscerating intellectual property in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, undermining capital formation through excessive Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) actions, harming the startup ecosystem via unwarranted Federal Trade Commission (FTC) meddling, going all-out to raze the U.S. energy sector, favoring union firms over non-union firms on federal infrastructure projects …and the list goes on. Congressional action must be taken to rein in the regulatory onslaught, put a hold on or repeal unneeded and politically-directed initiatives, and counter President Biden’s regulatory free-for-all in general.

“President Biden and Congress could have taken a more productive approach to policy, including measures to encourage investment and business growth. Instead, policy is undermining the private sector as it works to fully recover and get supply chains functioning normally. Moreover, the Administration is undermining a few of the positive things it has done with regard to infrastructure by writing rules that favor special interests or political friends. President Biden and congressional leaders can be doing so much more to address workforce shortages, deliver access to broadband more quickly and efficiently, and lower inflation through smart policies and actions. Instead, they are all-in on more government rules, red tape and spending, which has only intensified economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures,” added Kerrigan.

Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for SBE Council, added his five policy measures that would help the entrepreneurial sector of the economy.

Getting the Fed Refocused. “The Federal Reserve has created uncertainty and inflation by running loose monetary policy without precedent and trying to manipulate the economy. Congress and the White House should refrain from playing politics with the Fed, and instead simply pass legislation that refocuses the Fed on the lone policy objective of price stability.”

Tax Relief and Reform. “Substantive, permanent tax relief is vital in order to incentivize entrepreneurship and investment, the engines of economic, income and employment growth, including reducing income and capital gains tax rates; indexing capital gains for inflation; and full expensing of capital expenditures.”

Regulatory Relief and Modernization. “A sensible regulatory agenda would include sunsetting regulations so Congress can re-evaluate regulations after a certain period of time; congressional approval of all final rules and regulations to establish accountability and a check on activist regulators; and improving analysis of regulations, such as by establishing independent regulatory analysis for Congress.”

Leadership on Trade. “The U.S. needs to reclaim its leadership role in advancing free trade agreements that reduce the governmental barriers – such as tariffs and quotas – that raise costs for consumers and businesses. Indeed, it’s critical to keep in mind that nearly every import is an input for U.S. domestic businesses.”

Rein in Government Spending. “Restraint is desperately needed in terms of government spending, as more spending means draining resources from the private sector, either via taxes or more debt, and thereby limiting economic growth.”

Keating added, “The best small business agenda is one encompassing policy measures rooted in sound economics, not misguided, special-interest-driven politics. It’s about providing the right foundation for revitalizing entrepreneurship and our overall economy.”

CONTACT:

Karen Kerrigan, kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org

Raymond Keating, rkeating@sbecouncil.org

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 28 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit www.sbecouncil.org for additional information. Twitter: @SBECouncil

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