The Obama administration is pushing for changes in many industries ranging from banking to health care to energy. How will these efforts affect small business?
If you’re trying to figure out where to expand your business or get ideas for a new business to start, a recent article from SmartMoney focused on six industries poised to grow as a result of the administration’s efforts. Here’s a quick rundown:
President Obama's National Broadband Plan aims to boost access to mobile broadband and support the development of a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network. As part of the 2009 stimulus package, the government will spend $7.2 billion on broadband projects.
As a result of the broadband efforts, small businesses will gain greater access to a faster Web, which will speed the growth of cloud computing and enable small companies to both provide and benefit from cloud services.
This is one area where the government hasn’t proposed greater regulation—good news for entrepreneurs in the space. Also good news: Pent-up demand for tech products and services should explode when the economy picks up.
Expanded broadband means more people watching and downloading movies, TV and other multimedia on their computers or mobile devices. The increased demand will help the media industry overcome damage done by slumping ad sales.
This one’s a no-brainer even without government help. But the federal government is putting $20 billion into computerizing health records, making health-care IT a particularly sizzling field. Angel investors are also bullish on this sector: 17 percent of angel investment in 2009 went to health-care services, medical devices and equipment.
The government is putting $3 billion in stimulus spending into this industry, and recently created tax incentives and subsidies for residential and business users who install energy-saving equipment. Meanwhile, venture capitals are funding companies that do everything from solar panels and wind turbines to electricity grids and batteries.
And there you have the six industries posed for growth—at least based on Federal government spending. Lest we forget, however, the prospect of spending billions has a flip side to it: taxes. Some small business owners will be thinking about who has to foot the bill in taxes, and how big a tax bite these spending programs will take.
My question to you, then, is where you stand: are these programs a net positive, a net negative, or neutral when you factor in the increased spending and the likely impact on taxes?