With a new president in office, advocates of small businesses expect policy changes on issues such as health care and the environment. These groups expect President Trump to begin working toward at least modifying his predecessor’s health care overhaul and undoing environmental regulations.
They’re by far positive that bipartisan support for small business issues such as access to federal contracts will continue. They are also wondering if the Senate Democrats will try to slow the GOP agenda.
Small Businesses and Health Care
President Trump has promised to revoke the health care overhaul, something Republicans in Congress have failed to do so far. It’s unclear if the Democrats in the Senate could block a repeal or what will replace it.
CEO of Small Business Majority, John Arensmeyer, supporting the law said “We don’t think (a repeal) would be realistic. Many small businesses have gotten coverage they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.” However, many small businesses struggle with the costs of the coverage requirements that the Act enforces. Republicans are therefore searching for an alternative to the ACA, and are waiting to repeal until they have one passed. However, finding a universally acceptable alternative has proven to be a struggle.
Small Business Regulations
Trump is on record saying that he’ll reverse some of his predecessor’s executive orders, such as one that eased deportation policies against minors who are in the U.S. illegally. He added that he’d abolish a rule that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate bodies of water on private lands.
Many small business groups are concerned about the outcome that federal, state and local requirements have on their companies and profits. Republicans, as the party of fewer government controls, seek to alleviate these concerns by giving small businesses more autonomy in these areas.
Small Business and Taxes
Trump has supported significant cut on the income tax on all companies to 15 percent. Business groups also want to see partners, sole proprietors and corporate shareholders whose business income is reported on their personal returns benefit from these changes.
While the party has gotten a great deal of pushback because these policies would benefit big business, what many fail to realize is how essential these policies are to the survival of small businesses.
Small Business and Trade
During the campaign period, Trump advocated for a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which governs trade between U.S, Mexico and Canada. He also wants the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – awaiting Congress approval. However, he may face opposition from small business groups.
According to the chief economist with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Raymond Keating, “NAFTA has been a plus for small business trade. Free trade accords reduce expenses and expand opportunities for small businesses.” This is one of the few areas in which small businesses feel that they are being harmed by the current administration and its policy changes.
Donald Trump on Small Business
Despite controversies brought by Trump to the election, many small business owners support his lower tax rates on individuals and corporations. Trump advocates for lower tax rates for small and big businesses alike. He claims the plan will eradicate the practice for large companies to locate their tax havens abroad. It will also make it easier for small businesses to grow and create more jobs, as they will be funneling less of their revenues into paying large tax percentages.
It is through these small business-friendly policies that Trump hopes to lower unemployment rates throughout this presidency.
Marco Rubio on Small Business
Rubio’s plan advocates for lower taxes for business owners, policies that lower energy costs, rescinding of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the establishment of a National Regulatory Budget which will reduce governmental involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the small business owners. Just like many of the other Republican candidates, Rubio believes that less government regulation and lower taxes is good for business owners and the economy.
Ted Cruz on Small Business
Cruz shares the same ideals on small business as his Republican peers. He advocates for a lower, flat tax for business owners across the board and also reduction in the governmental regulation which create too much red tape for the small business owners. He supports repealing of the Affordable Healthcare Act, do away with death tax and payroll tax.
American Health Care Act (AHCA)
On March 6th 2017, House Republicans released a plan replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which abolishes a key provision in that law: The employer mandate. This mandate was a primary concern for small businesses, and made health care a major cost concern for many owners.
The mandate requires businesses with at least 50 or more full-time employees to provide workers insurance or get penalized for failing to comply. The GOP plan removes a similar rule for individuals as well, believing that being covered or not, and providing coverage as a business, should be a decision, not a requirement.
Over the years that the ACA has been in place, many have seen the law as an impediment to small business growth. They claim the law may be forcing companies near the 50-employee threshold to make decisions in regards to hiring based on the requirement that they offer workers coverage. The cost of health insurance is ranked as the top issue by the Research from the conservative National Federation of Independent Business and is ranked number three in recent report from the nonpartisan National Small Business Association.
“We think economics and affordability will drive people to get coverage, not necessarily penalties. Repealing the mandates, including the employer mandate and taxes in the ACA are measures we have supported for some time, stated Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
The GOP’s replacement plan also removes subsidies to assist lower-income Americans purchase insurance. Instead, it substitutes these subsidies with age-based tax credits. AHCA strips funding for Planned Parenthood for a year, freezes Medicaid expansion in 2020 and expands the incentives to use health-savings accounts.
“The effort is a good first step, and America’s smallest business community applaud efforts to eliminate the unfair individual mandate, while preserving safeguards from the prohibition on the bank on pre-existing conditions to ensuring coverage to age 26 and lifetime coverage caps. “The plan should also offer incentives, like tax credits, to encourage individuals to enroll in health-care coverage, instead of penalizing them,” said Katie Vlietstra, Vice President of Public Affairs at NASE.
Entrepreneurial Development Legislation for Small Businesses
Small Business Committee Members presented bipartisan legislation that will increase openings for small businesses to modernize entrepreneurial development programs and compete for federal contracts.
“Small businesses create the majority of new jobs in our economy,” said House Committee on Small Business Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH). “Whether it is creating new opportunities for small contractors or improving key entrepreneurial development programs like SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers, the reforms in these pieces of legislation will give our small businesses confidence and practical tools to succeed. This has been a true team effort from our Members on both sides of the aisle. I appreciate the leadership and hard work of Ranking Member Velázquez and all of the Members involved in bringing this legislation forward.”
“I always say that when it comes to small business policy, there are not Republican or Democratic issues, but American issues,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, the Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee. “The bipartisan legislation we are putting forward today draws from an array of bills previously introduced by Committee Members on both sides of the aisle and will go a long way toward fostering entrepreneurship. By reforming government contracting rules, we can help unlock the half-trillion dollar federal marketplace for small firms, creating good paying jobs in communities around the nation. Strengthening Entrepreneurial Development programs will help existing businesses grow and aspiring entrepreneurs to launch new ventures. I look forward to working with Chairman Chabot and all the Committee Members to advance these measures.”
- Small Business Committee Introduces Essential Contracting and Entrepreneurial Development Legislation – Small Business Committee
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