Policy Agenda: Entrepreneurship & Freelance Economy
Entrepreneurship is a potent force for positive change in creating and sustaining a thriving, inclusive society and economy—from addressing long-term unemployment to providing high quality jobs to helping revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Positive entrepreneurship occurs both in dynamic small enterprises and within our growing freelance economy. So long as it is not merely a way to avoid a W-2 employment relationship, a healthy freelance ecosystem can provide an innovative and singular pathway for women, minorities, youth, veterans, disabled people and immigrants to enter the mainstream American economy and build income and independence. We need to do all we can to ensure our economy flourishes by:
- Identifying and fixing tax issues unique to micro-enterprises and freelancers.
- Supporting legislation like the Microloan Modernization Act that would expand the SBA's micro-finance program.
- Expanding access to shared workspaces, accelerators and incubators that provide the physical and operational infrastructure for entrepreneurs to start and grow new businesses.
- Promoting SBA and other programs that encourage expanded procurement opportunities for very small businesses, particularly those owned and run by women and minorities.
- Promoting SBA and other programs that foster peer-to-peer mentoring for women and minority entrepreneurs.
- Supporting measures to provide more funding and resources for business assistance centers that provide vital education and outreach to entrepreneurs.
- Passing healthcare tax equity for the self-employed, so that freelancers can deduct their healthcare expenses from their FICA tax obligations—just like other business entities.
- Fully funding outreach efforts to communicate the benefits of the individual healthcare insurance marketplaces to the self-employed.
- Passing the FAMILY Act to provide partial wage replacement for the self-employed to access parental leave or to handle serious health conditions for themselves and family members.
- Supporting easy-to-implement mechanisms for the self-employed to access family/medical leave and retirement benefits.
- Passing the Community Broadband Act, which seeks to help local towns set up public alternatives to big Internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon.