Every year on Thanksgiving I like to focus my blog on gratitude because I have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Research shows that practicing gratitude can be beneficial to your health and satisfaction.
Last year my blog shared quotations about gratitude. This year I’d like to run through some of the business-related developments this past year that I’m grateful for.
Small business optimism is up
Tax laws have changed or are being changed
While we’re in the midst of talks on major tax reform and it’s unclear what the ultimate resolution will be, I’m grateful that we’re having the discussion. I know better than anyone else how complicated the current tax rules are and that they should be simplified and made fairer.
- In the past year, we’ve had some tax law changes that are favorable to small businesses. For example, the 21st Century Cures Act created Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) to allow small businesses to reimburse employees for their individually-obtained health coverage on a tax-advantaged basis.
- And there’s been tax relief for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, including an employee retention credit for employers impacted by these disasters. There’s also been some tax relief for victims of the California wildfires.
New technology simplifies business operations
Small businesses have embraced low-cost “standalone credit card machines”, like Square (2.75% per swipe or dip) and Paypal Here (2.7% per US swipe transaction). These devices have enabled small businesses to get paid on the spot, even if they’re mobile.
- The use of apps, and small businesses creating and having their own, is a continuing development. My app lets users see my Idea of the Day®.
- And let’s not forget the release of new iPhone in November 2017. With a computer in your pocket, small businesses and their staff can go and transact business, anywhere, while staying in contact with the company.
Stock market is up
This means that the value of 401(k) and other retirement plans is higher. From Election Day 2016 to Election Day 2017, the Dow went from 18,332.74 to 23,557.23. That’s a more-than-22% increase.
I have so much to be grateful for: my family and friends, surviving Hurricane Irma, my business, and more. I also want to give thanks to readers who have commented on my postings. Many of you have expressed appreciation for my content, and for that I’m grateful.