It’s easy for small businesses to get lost in or ignored by the media. Small businesses don’t have the extensive ad budgets, celebrity spokespersons, or brand recognition that large corporations do. And although they are innately involved in our communities, make charitable contributions, and even volunteer employees to participate in fundraisers, they don’t make billion dollar donations (think Warren Buffett and Bill Gates), sponsor rock concert benefits, or make the cover of TIME. However, once a year – as occurred last week – small businesses are thrown into the spotlight. This year it’s important to note that National Small Business Week took place while the economy is taking a downturn when it seems the nation was already looking to small businesses to pull it back up. And it doesn’t take a celebrity endorsement from Bono to see why: Each year, the 26 million small businesses in the United States:
- Generate two-thirds of all new jobs
- Employ over half of the country’s private sector workforce
- Represent 97 percent of exporters
- Represent almost 100 percent of all employer firms
- Generate a majority of the innovations that come from US companies
Of course, if you’re a small business owner, you probably already know all of this and thinking, if the nation thinks we’re so important, then why not throw us a freakin’ bone. The good news is, it may be coming closer to happening. There have been small steps taken since 2000, but here is a list of some current proposed legislation that could lend some support to small business success:
- Small Business Expensing: Now businesses with up to $325,000 in new investments (rather than $200,000) can immediately expense the first $40,000 (currently $25,000), rather than depreciate it.
- Simplified Taxes: The final rules will be announced shortly by the Treasury Department that will allow businesses with less than $10 million in gross receipts to use cash accounting rather than accrual accounting – greatly reducing the amount of paperwork and time required to file taxes.
- Death Tax Repeal: The tax burden for family-owned businesses passed down through generations would be greatly reduced.
- Association Health Plans: The theory is that by pooling together small businesses into “associations,” they would have the same purchasing power health insurance benefits as large organizations.
- Improve Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs): By removing the cap on the volume of MSAs and lowering the required deductible for both individuals and families, small businesses and their employees can take advantage of more of the benefits of these tax-free health insurance savings accounts. See full legislation details
Now, whether this legislation passes and is implemented is still to be seen. But we the employees and owners of small businesses can all hope that perhaps the focus on nationwide small business success will last for more than just the duration of a week or a recession. *Stats from http://www.score.org