A new political campaign season is coming upon us, and small businesses need to let their voices be heard on the legislative level today, more then ever.
I recently read a survey that listed the top concerns of small
businesses in America. Not surprisingly, eight of the nine largest
items keeping company owners up at night were due to government
I’m not going to take a political position in this column,
but when small- business professionals — the backbone of
America — rank government interference as a larger problem
than the economy, the credit crunch and the unemployment numbers,
then we have a real problem.
These concerns need to be addressed by voting, contacting
legislators and working with industry lobbyists on causes you
believe deserve notice.
Here are the items business owners cite:
- The cost of health insurance
- Federal taxes on business income
- Government regulations
- Fuel costs
- Social Security taxes
- State taxes on business income
- Worker’s Compensation costs
- Federal paperwork
- Energy costs
- Frequent changes in federal tax laws
In contrast, the National Federation of Independent Business
conducts a survey of the top trends affecting small companies in
America. It’s interesting to compare the two — concerns
vs. trends — and see how they relate to each other. To me,
some of these trends are in many ways a direct response to the
concerns listed above.
Here are four of the top 10 which I believe show a connection.
- The shift to contingent workers: Employers are continuing
to move from full-time employees to part-timers, free-lancers,
outsourced services, and other forms of contingent workers.
- Personal businesses on the rise: Spurred by the Internet,
the number of one employee businesses has grown twice as fast as
the overall economy.
- There is no place like home for small business: Lower costs
and technological advances mean a continued growth of home-based
- Clean and green creating small business opportunities: In
many cases, the shift to sustainable business practices, products
and services is changing how industries operate.
The owners of small companies are a resilient, inventive group and,
as you can see, in many cases when the government zigs, they zag.
There are nearly 30 million small businesses in America. Just think
of what could be achieved if they banded together on issues that