Small Business Brief for 10/29

Presidential Candidates on Workplace Policies in America

SBE Chief Economist Ray Keating writes: "When it comes to government causing problems for small businesses, costs come not only in the form of taxes, but also in terms of regulations. As a big chunk of the media focuses on which presidential candidate would be better for small business, what are Barack Obama and John McCain saying on workplace regulations?" SBE Council Cybercolumn

Candidates reach out to Florida small-business owners
Small-business owners in South Florida have been targeted by both presidential campaigns, yet neither camp is specific enough to really make a clear decision as to which one is best. The Miami Herald

Lower taxes could help small businesses in crisis It was made clear during a House hearing yesterday (10/28): Lower taxes and delayed tax payments could help small businesses weather the economic crisis. "Whether it is by expanding the SBA's role or providing tax relief, entrepreneurs must have access to all the tools they need," said Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). "They have powered this country out of other recessions, and they can do it again today." Bureau of National Affairs (subscription required)

$700 million Small Business Stimulus Package Proposed A new $700 million small business stimulus plan has been proposed by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). The proposed legislation would waive bank service fees on loans, give the SBA more money for staff and loans, raise the limits on SBA loans and let the SBA offer loans for refinancing. Newsday

The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy published three new working papers in

October, 2008:

The Importance of Angel Investing in Financing the Growth of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Authored by Scott Shane, this paper offers an accurate understanding of the role of angel investing in the entrepreneurial finance system. It finds that the angel capital market is smaller than is generally believed. It is online at www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs331tot.pdf.

Looking Ahead: Opportunities and Challenges for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Owners

This work, written by Chad Moutray, Advocacy’s Director of Economic Research, outlines the most important issues and opportunities faced by small business owners and entrepreneurs in this election year. Access it at www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs332tot.pdf.

Baccalaureate Education and the Employment Decision: Self-Employment and the Class of 1993

This research, also by Dr. Moutray, uses U.S. Department of Education Baccalaureate & Beyond data to study the relationship between collegiate education and the employment decision. The study shows that one’s choice of college major is a major determinant of whether one becomes self-employed

or chooses wage-and-salary work. Available at www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs333tot.pdf.

401(k) Matching Contributions Disappear as Economy Worsens Thanks to the worsening economy, more companies across America are expecting to stop matching employee contributions to 401(k) accounts. General Motors is the latest, joining Goodyear, Frontier Airlines and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in suspending the matching payments. USA TODAY

Employers can Adjust Their Insurance Costs Based on Age According to Minneapolis employment attorney Wendy Bunnell, employers can increase the health insurance contributions of older workers and change their benefits if the cost for the age group increases, but not simply because an older employee develops a particular illness or condition. Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

Insurance Costs Hard on Small Firms A new Mercer survey shows that small business owners are no longer willing to pay as much to provide health insurance for their employees. However, Wall Street Journal readers were divided between their support for free national insurance and concern that such a program would drive the best doctors overseas, where they could make more money. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Military Reservist Loan Program Working Capital Expanded

Legislative changes will make a U.S. Small Business Administration loan program more accessible to small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or essential employee is called to active military duty by extending the application period, increasing the unsecured loan threshold, and raising the maximum loan limit. SBA News