What the Upcoming 2012 Election Means for American Small Business
Small business owners are keeping a keen eye on this year’s presidential election and waiting to see how each candidate can help improve the economic landscape through small business growth — an issue that the country hopes sparks and improves job creation.
Both the Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have been touring the country focusing their efforts on small business and the economy.
Romney for instance recently spoke to the National Federation of Independent Business, applauding our country for having an entrepreneurial spirit, taking risks and creating jobs. He called Obama’s policies a “hostile environment” for small business owners.
Romney argued that the President’s stimulus package didn’t live up to its promise of creating a specific number of jobs. He added that “Obamacare” frightens more people from hiring. Romney’s campaign, when it comes to small business, is that there is too much federal regulation in business.
On the other side, Obama is running a small business campaign that focuses on Main Street over Wall Street. He’s calling on Congress to pass legislation that would grant a 10 percent income tax credit to small businesses that create new jobs or increases wages in 2012. He also wants to extend a 2010 piece of legislation that enables small businesses to deduct the full value of investments made through 2012.
Both sides will put up strong campaigns trying to win over small business owners across America, but there are still some lingering issues that need to be resolved.
It’s still difficult for small businesses to secure funding if they want to grow or start their business. In May 2012, big bank lending dropped from 10.6 percent to 10.2 percent, according to Biz2Credit. Small bank lending also dropped from 45.9 percent to 45.5 percent.
Small business owners still don’t have a lot of confidence in the economy. While slightly improved, 71 percent still believe the economy is in a recession.
“Business is rebounding, especially among businesses with at least $1 million in annual sales and five or more employees,” Rick Hartnack, vice chairman of consumer and small business banking at U.S. Bank, said in a statement. “For those businesses, prospects for growth are particularly strong, as are plans to hire.
But businesses still have concerns that they’ll be lobbying the presidential candidates about, including healthcare, jobs and unemployment, taxes, the federal deficit and Social Security. According to a small business survey, healthcare is the top concern, followed by the federal deficit. 60 percent of businesses surveyed believe healthcare reform will have a negative impact on their business.
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A 2012 Citibank survey found that more than one of every two small business owners have skipped a payday to keep their business afloat. Fifty-four percent of owners said they have gone without a paycheck at some point and a quarter even said they have gone without pay for one year or more sometimes in the history of their business.
Those are some staggering statistics that are all too true. Sixty-six percent of the 750 small businesses surveyed said the biggest challenge of their business is the slow state of the economy — something that will clearly be a hot-button issue of the 2012 election.
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