Lawmakers dodged an economic bullet at the end of 2012 when they came to an 11th hour agreement on the highly publicized “fiscal cliff” issue. Not two months later, policymakers have yet another obstacle in their path that could have dire consequences for small business and the economy: what’s known in D.C. parlance as “sequestration.” The sequester is a host of automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1 because lawmakers haven’t agreed on a deal to reduce the deficit by their self-imposed deadline.
Signed into law on Feb. 5, 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees of covered employers to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, and have their benefits maintained. Twenty years later, scientific opinion polling has found small businesses strongly support the decades-old law.
Small businesses are working hard to move their companies, and our economy, beyond the recession. As much as they’ve already accomplished to lift employment levels, these entrepreneurs are not immune to the lingering effects of our disrupted financial market, and they want smart steps taken to address their needs. Contrary to the mantra that slackening Wall Street’s reins will bring economic growth, four out of five small business owners believe Wall Street should be held accountable for the practices that caused the financial crisis, through tougher rules and enforcement.
For the second time since the summer of 2011, Congress is debating whether or not to raise the federal debt ceiling—the legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow. While addressing our debt is an important issue that carries weight for small business and the economy, some politicians have been misusing the debt ceiling as a mechanism for furthering their own partisan agendas. Short-term solutions lead to uncertainty for small businesses and our job creators want our leaders to put this issue to rest.
As small business owners prepare to close the books on 2012, our country is fast approaching the edge of what’s been dubbed the “fiscal cliff.” This critical situation—created by a host of tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, coupled with billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that will be triggered if Congress and the president can’t agree on a way to reduce the deficit by year’s end—has dire consequences for small businesses. Many of the tax provisions set to expire benefit small businesses and the middle class, small businesses’ core customer base.
Small businesses have become a key weapon in politicians’ arsenals when arguing for practically any policy that has an economic impact. Policies associated with the current tax debate are no exception. Countless rounds of legislative battles have been and will continue to be fought over whether small businesses will be hurt if tax breaks for high income earners are allowed to expire at the end of 2012.
Small businesses are one of the most respected constituencies in the country, and certainly one of the most courted by policymakers in Washington. However, small businesses are also a group that legislators and the general public understand little about—the very smallest ones, especially. Those businesses are known as “micro businesses.”
American small businesses create 65 percent of all net new jobs and employ roughly half of all workers in the private sector. According to the Kauffman Foundation, businesses founded between 1970 and 2000 (some of which grew into large businesses during those years) provided all net private sector job growth during that timeframe.
Opinion polling shows Nevada small business owners believe government can play an important role in creating financial incentives that help small businesses take energy efficiency measures. A majority of six in 10 respondents say government investments in clean energy play an important role in creating jobs and boosting the economy, and about the same majority also supports standards to reduce carbon pollution and other emissions even if it means an increase in utility rates.
Small businesses account for a significant share of Colorado’s economy. For every one large business in Colorado, there are 179 small businesses diligently working to reenergize the state’s economy: Small firms make up 99% of the state’s employers. These entrepreneurs are doing everything they can to hire, grow and move their businesses and the state’s economy forward. As part of these efforts, recent scientific opinion polling shows that Colorado’s entrepreneurs want pragmatic, innovative policies that help guide them into a competitive, modern clean energy economy.