The so-called “Small Business Jobs Act” is now law, signed by President Obama. As I wrote a few days ago, to call it a jobs bill is a misnomer. Only businesses can create jobs – the government can’t.
However, there’s a tendency to focus on the things we may not like about a new law, and overlook the benefits of it. As I cautioned, as business owners we have to be pragmatic and take advantage of the points in the Act that benefit us.
My colleague, Barabara Weltman, responded with her own views, noting that even the tax provisions in the Act don’t go nearly far enough. For instance, many of the tax breaks sound more impressive than they are – in real life they will be more limited just to certain groups of small businesses. Fair enough.
There are a couple of points we agree on:
1. The new law’s tax provisions don’t go far enough. I would note, however, that the newly passed tax provisions will have some benefits to certain classes of small businesses, especially the larger small businesses that are more likely to hire employees, buy more products and services, and put money in the stream of commerce. So be aware of the provisions, and if they fit your situation, use them. Just keep advocating for more. One big area to focus on: tell your lawmakers to get the so-called Bush tax cuts extended – no tax hikes!
2. Government would be wise to focus on making a business-friendly environment. This is the area that our lawmakers have let us down most recently. It seems every time we turn around there is some new regulatory burden – more paperwork to file, more regulatory oversights that make it difficult to expand our businesses. These regulatory burdens translate into real costs for small businesses that eat into profits and make it much harder to hire employees, buy more products and services, and generally put money back into the stream of commerce. So when you speak to your congressmen and even to state and local lawmakers, tell them that if they really want to “help” small businesses, to try walking in our shoes and understand that each new legal or regulatory requirement adds cost and complexity and does not “help” us.
Remember, too, to vote for elected officials who are willing to do what it takes to lower taxes and make a business friendly environment for small businesses.
Watch the SBA’s Karen Mills respond to questions submitted by small business owners and selected by OPEN Forum at openforum.com/whitehouse.