SBE Council is working on multiple fronts to protect small business, promote entrepreneurship and rebuild a strong economy.
As economic and policy uncertainties continue to linger, SBE Council is focused on bringing stability to our tax system and paring back intrusive regulations that burden small businesses with excessive costs and paperwork.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: The new health care law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- PPACA) is increasing the cost of health insurance for small businesses and the self-employed. As consolidation takes place in the marketplace because of the new law, choices are being taken away. PPACA imposes new taxes and costly mandates on small business owners. New compliance requirements - like expanded reporting, and the employer and individual mandate - impose new costs on small firms. PPACA dictates how health insurance plans will be designed, which will drive costs higher and threatens affordable choices in the marketplace. SBE Council is working to repeal the law and its most onerous provisions. We will continue to push for reforms that lower costs, and expand competitive choices.
• Health care affordability and access -- SBE Council supports an open and competitive system that incentivizes consumer engagement and healthy lifestyles. Mandates requiring small businesses and the self-employed to purchase health insurance for their employees when they can barely meet payroll is not a sound way to help the economy or our loyal workforce. Jobs will be lost. The individual mandate is a burden on the self-employed, and will deter new start-ups. Taxing health insurance companies, health insurance plans and our most innovative companies in the health care sector (as PPACA does) will continue to raise health insurance premium costs.
SBE Council supports the expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), a national marketplace for health insurance, medical liability reform, small business purchasing pools, tax credits for small businesses and individuals and other reforms that bring more market discipline and choice into the health care system.
TAX REFORM: SBE Council will continue to advocate for a pro-growth tax system to help restore the U.S. economy. We are working to make existing tax relief permanent, while calling for reforms that simplify the tax system and make the U.S. more globally competitive.
SBE Council will oppose new tax increases such as those that have been proposed in President Obama's new budget or as "revenue raisers" to pay for new programs. Proposed tax hikes on entrepreneurs, capital gains and investment work against the goal of getting our economy back on a healthy growth track.
Small businesses and our economy need robust amounts of capital right now. Tax increases hurt job creation, innovation, and our nation's competitiveness. SBE Council will continue to push back against tax increases, at all levels of government.
• Access to credit and capital/tax relief and certainty: Policies should encourage capital formation and access to credit -- not increase costs or restrict availability. SBE Council continues to urge Congress and the Obama Administration to make permanent key tax relief measures. In addition, SBE Council is advocating for reforms to outdated Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws that is preventing investment in small businesses.
REGULATORY MODERNIZATION AND REFORM. Government agencies continue to advance new regulations that impose more costs and burdens on small business and the economy -- a regulatory "time out" is needed as regulatory excess is squeezing the profitability and survivability of many small firms.
Already, small businesses with 20 employees or fewer pay more than $10,000 per-employee to comply with federal regulations, according to the SBA's Office of Advocacy.
SBE Council is keeping a close eye on regulatory activity currently underway at the EPA, OSHA, Department of Labor, FCC, HHS and other federal agencies and departments that could disproportionately impact small businesses. We will support efforts that streamline and modernize the regulatory process as President Obama has proposed in his new regulatory strategy that was announced in January 2011.
SBE Council is working with small business leaders in the Congress to advance regulatory reform bills, and identify specific regulations that need to be repealed or updated. We will urge Congress to use its authority to overturn new regulations that are unneeded or do not take in account their disproportionate impact on small business.
ACCESS TO GLOBAL MARKETS. Small businesses cannot afford an era of protectionism. Entrepreneurs want access to international markets to sell their goods and services. The U.S. must continue to engage other nations in trade agreements to enable a more prosperous, interdependent and peaceful world. SBE Council is urging the Congress and Administration to finalize existing trade accords, and pursue others. Along with trade, SBE Council is the leading small business voice urging the Administration to secure and enforce Intellectual Property (IP) protections at home and abroad.
How Does SBE Council Keep You Informed and Updated?
Small Business News: SBE Council keeps our members updated on all legislative initiatives that impact entrepreneurs through our regular enews -- Small Business News. This highly acclaimed e-newsletter also includes important information, trends, resources, articles, conferences and other FREE or low cost training opportunities to help your firm grow and prosper during this challenging economic period.
Small Business News will remind you about upcoming events -- for example, dates and times for our regular Growth Without Barriers webcast series that will continue in 2011.
ADVOCACY: SBE Council will urge the Obama Administration and congressional leaders to move forward with positive tax and economic growth policies -- measures that incentivize small firms to invest in their businesses, hire employees and expand into new markets.
SBE Council staff will continue to produce the most cutting-edge and insightful analysis for our members, the media, and elected officials to help target audiences understand the impact of legislation, regulatory proposal, and President Obama's initiatives on small business, entrepreneurship and our struggling economy. SBE Council will send you "ACTION ALERTS" to let you know when we need you to contact your Members of Congress, President Obama or take part in a regulatory proceeding.
The views and ideas of SBE Council members and staff continue to be in demand on Capitol Hill, and with elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government.
"Influentials" in the media and the private sector tap into SBE Council analysis and staff expertise to help them better grasp complex issues. SBE Council will always have a seat at the table when issues impacting entrepreneurs are being discussed, debated or decided.
BUT we need your small business voice!
Other Critical Issues SBE Council continues to work on:
• Affordable Energy: A supply-driven policy, including -- greater oil and natural gas exploration and development in the U.S.; more nuclear power; clean-coal technology; and incentives to accelerate technological innovation in alternative energy sources all must be pursued -- and with a high sense of urgency -- in order to make the U.S. more energy secure and competitive. SBE Council is the leading small business advocate for an aggressive approach to U.S. energy policy -- policies that will create an affordable and stable supply of energy.
• SBE Council is protecting worker privacy, and business flexibility - we are strongly opposing "card check": SBE Council is a leading voice to stop legislation or National Labor Relation Board efforts to eviscerate employee freedom, privacy and choice in regard to workplace unionization. Under "card check", employee rights will be infringed upon and small business owners will lose significant control over business operations.
• Repeal of 3% Withholding Mandate: This new withholding mandate impacts almost all government contractors, and is slated to take effect in 2012. The mandate requires that federal, state and local governments withhold 3% of payments to contractors for goods and services. Fortunately, a bill in the House and Senate to repeal this measure is gaining steam on Capitol Hill. The 3% withholding mandate will be costly for small businesses. It will drastically hurt the cash flow of small firms, while rendering many non-competitive in the government procurement space.
• In the States: At the state and local level, SBE Council is making its voice heard as well. We work with state and local allies on legislation and regulation that impacts small business. SBE Council's "Small Business Survival Index," which ranks the states on their policy environments for business start-up and growth, is in its 17th year. From this core Index, SBE Council produces a "Business Tax Index," "Energy Cost Index" and "Health Care Cost Index" that measure the states on policies that affect the cost or burden in these specific areas.
PLEASE SUPPORT SBE COUNCIL!
SBE Council is doing much, much more on the tax, regulatory, energy and health care front! SBE Council is working hard at the federal, state and local levels to help small firms compete and survive in today's challenging and competitive economy.
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SBE Council is a 501c4 nonprofit advocacy and lobbying organization. Contributions to the SBE Council are not tax deductible.