With the election in our rear view mirror, now’s the time to focus on the future.
Here are some of the areas of concern to me, and what’s ahead for small business.
With clear control by a single party in Washington, expect to see considerable action within the new President’s first 100 days.
The number one issue identified by small business owners as an impediment to growth has been federal regulations. According to Trump’s position on regulations, he’ll work to “reform the entire regulatory code to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America.” Toward this end, he may impose a moratorium on new regulations.
What I’d like to see: Going forward, hopefully he’ll incorporate a risk-benefit analysis to any new regulations.
It’s hard to find anyone who could not severely criticize the current Tax Code. Trump promised to “reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans.” However he promised to “make our business tax rate more competitive to keep jobs in America, create new opportunities and revitalize our economy.”
He may throw support behind the GOP’s tax reform plan, spearheaded by Rep. Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The tenets of the Tax Reform Blueprint are explained in blogs, videos, and other materials.
What I’d like to see: Lower tax rate, simplicity, and certainty (no more extenders that prevent year-to-year planning).
One of the key points in his platform has been to repeal and replace Obamacare. Part of this plan is to expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and spur competition by allowing consumers and businesses to purchase insurance across state lines. Of course, the devil is in the details, so it’s too early to know how the replacement plan will work.
For many small businesses, the burden of Obamacare has prevented them from expanding their staff and rising costs has limited what they could offer to their staff in terms of health care options. Hopefully, the new plan will allow small businesses to offer creative, low-cost options for coverage to their staff.
What I’d like to see: More health care options at lower costs.
There has been little attention given to infrastructure in more than a decade. Trump promised to “pursue an “America’s Infrastructure First’ policy that supports investments in transportation, clean water, a modern and reliable electricity grid, telecommunications, security infrastructure, and other pressing domestic infrastructure needs.” Clearly, work on infrastructure will generate jobs.
What I’d like to see: It’s vital to small business, and the U.S. economy in general, to have a secure security grid and Internet; this area needs considerable attention.
With an expanding economy, the need for labor—skilled and unskilled—likely will grow. Trump promised to “establish new immigration controls to boost wages.” It’s essential that the government revisits all aspects of immigration policy to end illegal immigration but expand the continued influx of legal immigrants. A local sheet rock contractor I know is tired of being underbid by competitors using undocumented workers (who presumably are paid less than his legal employees).
What I’d like to see: Streamlining of the visa system so that workers, including skilled technology workers that may be needed, can gain legal access to jobs here.
Campaign promises are no guarantee of actual performance. But let’s hope that the political and economic landscape become more small-business friendly.