(Lorraine Hunt-Bono) – The American Dream of owning a business has been achieved by generations of entrepreneurs and their families. Small business owners from the corner family grocery store, main street beauty salon, coffee shop, or rural farms and small manufacturing companies, are hard-working, law abiding citizens with ambition to provide a better life for themselves and their children.
Today they are paralyzed by public policies and stimulus spending imposed upon our financial system by the leadership in Washington, DC. They have been ignored in government “Bail-outs” and “Subsidies” by politicians and lobbyists who seem to be unaware that
“America’s economy will only recover when America’s small businesses recover.”
As the “REAL JOB CREATORS” in our country, their survival is threatened by the instability and unpredictability of our national economy.
The patronizing programs presented by Washington, DC, as “relief for small businesses” indicate a lack of concern for their dilemma. An example is “incentives” that give small business an income tax reduction for hiring new employees when the reality is they need incentives to keep the employees they have!
In order for small business to re-invest and expand their businesses, they need a clear understanding of what their challenges will be over the long term. If they are to create new jobs and invest in the future, they must have a clear vision of what the future will bring. Estate, Capital Gains, and Business Taxes are just a few of their concerns. New government regulations and mandates as well as energy costs are also issues that must be anticipated in order for small businesses to establish a long rang business plan that they can depend on.
The voices of Small Business owners across America have repeatedly articulated the answer to saving America’s small businesses – yet, no one in Washington, DC seems to be listening.
As an active advocate of small business, I am committed to continuing to carry the torch for millions of small family-owned businesses that provide goods and services acrossAmericaand export goods and services across the globe.
Ten recommendations that would “QUICK START” a small business recovery, create jobs and putAmericaback to work are:
1. Extend the payroll tax deduction “Holiday” for employees
2. Provide employers the same benefit and savings with a payroll tax “Holiday For Employers”
3. Eliminate the payroll tax on tips for employees and employers.
4. Provide an entry-level, across the board minimum wage for teenagers and college students up to 21 years of age (without government paperwork)
5. Allow medical insurance companies to compete across state lines enabling them to include all of America’s 300 million plus population in their pricing
6. Encourage medical insurance companies to provide a “low-cost” catastrophic medical insurance plan with a higher deductible for those who only need serious illness protection.
7. Hold and reduce the cost of energy to individuals and to businesses:
- EncourageAmerica’s energy independence with immediate short term relief
- Establish a course and goals for midterm accomplishments
- Set a long-term plan forAmerica’s energy independence that includes all of America’s Energy Assets in the portfolio
8. Encourage local, state and federal governments to allow as much flexibility as possible to small businesses to continue to keep their doors open and protect their employee’s jobs.
9. Create a “NEW GOVERNMENT MANDATES AND REGULATIONS HOLIDAY” – allowing a window of predictability and consistency in government rulings that will allow business to establish a 5-7 year business plan for developing and growing their businesses
10. Provide small businesses guaranteed financial assistance to consolidate their existing debt, amortizing it over a limited period of time with reasonable monthly payments to retire the debt
The ten recommendations, if implemented, would save millions of small businesses on the brink of closing their doors and putting more people out of work.
The President and Congress could quickly implement the recommendations and rescue the families and companies they represent.
They must stabilize our economy by agreeing on a long term plan of action that will give small businesses and American businesses in general a stable, predictable long term course to follow.
Then and only then can the JOB CREATORS decide if they will make the commitment and investment to continue.
(The Honorable Lorraine T. Hunt-Bono is a 50-year resident of Nevada. She is a prominent businesswoman, Commissioner on the Nevada Commission on Tourism, a former Lieutenant Governor and President of the Nevada State Senate.)