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Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
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SBE Council is advocating for policies to improve the environment for risk-taking, investment and entrepreneurship. We are working on multiple fronts to protect small business and rebuild a strong economy. Entrepreneurship in the U.S. is at a low point, but sound policies that encourage capital formation and risk-taking can vastly improve the policy ecosystem for startup activity.
As economic and policy uncertainties continue to linger, SBE Council is focused on bringing stability and simplicity to our tax system, paring back intrusive regulations that burden small businesses with excessive costs and paperwork, and advocating for reforms that will create a competitive, nationwide marketplace for health coverage.
SBE Council is working on a range of policy reforms to improve capital formation, business growth and investment.
A First-Class Ecosystem for U.S. Entrepreneurs: The U.S. needs pro-growth policies to increase small business start-ups and success. SBE Council is working hard to improve the environment for U.S. entrepreneurship, and helping lawmakers understand the need for a first-class ecosystem to enable small business growth. This includes common sense policies for improving our nation’s educational system, infrastructure, and broadband capacity as well as affordable access to the global markets, capital, energy, and health coverage.
TAX REFORM: SBE Council is advocating for a pro-entrepreneur tax system to help strengthen the U.S. economy. We are working to make existing tax relief permanent, while calling for reforms that make the U.S. system more globally competitive. That includes rate cuts for individuals and corporations, full business expensing, broadening the tax base and simplifying our complex system.
SBE Council will oppose new tax increases on small business owners and investors. Tax hikes on entrepreneurs and capital work against the goal of getting our economy back on a healthy growth track. Entrepreneurs need capital, the incentive to invest and the resources to invest. Tax increases discourage investment and job creation.
HEALTH CARE REFORM: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — ACA or Obamacare – is increasing the cost of health insurance for small businesses and the self-employed. As consolidation takes place in the marketplace, choices are eroding. ACA imposed new taxes and costly mandates on small business owners. New compliance requirements – like expanded reporting, and the employer and individual mandates – are burdening small businesses with new costs. Obamacare has dictated how health insurance plans are designed, which has driven costs higher and eliminated affordable choices in the marketplace. SBE Council is working to repeal the law and its most onerous provisions. We will continue to push for reforms that lower costs, and expand competitive choices.
Health care affordability and access: SBE Council supports a transparent and competitive system that encourages consumer engagement and healthy lifestyles. Mandates requiring small businesses and the self-employed to purchase health insurance for themselves or their employees when they can barely meet payroll is not a sound way to help the economy or America’s workforce. The individual mandate is a burden on the self-employed, and will deter start-up activity. Taxing health insurance companies, health insurance plans and our most innovative companies in the health care sector (like small medical device manufacturers) will raise health insurance costs and hurt innovation.
SBE Council supports the expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), a national marketplace for health insurance, medical liability reform, group purchasing pools, and other reforms that bring market discipline and choice into the health care system.
REGULATORY MODERNIZATION AND REFORM. Government agencies continue to advance new regulations that impose heavy costs and burdens on small businesses and the economy. A regulatory “time out” is needed. Regulatory excess is squeezing the profitability and survivability of many small firms, and uncertainty is stunting job creation and investment. That is why SBE Council founded a new project in 2014 – The Center for Regulatory Solutions – which is offering alternatives and reforms to make the regulatory system more transparent, accountable and inclusive to small business concerns.
Small businesses with 20 employees or less pay more than $10,000 per-employee to comply with federal regulations, according to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.
SBE Council is keeping a close eye on regulatory activity currently underway at the EPA, OSHA, Department of Labor, FCC, HHS, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other federal agencies and departments that disproportionately impacts small businesses. We will support efforts that streamline and modernize the regulatory process, a requirement that regulation undergo a thorough cost-benefit analysis, and changes that give small business owners a real voice in the regulatory process,
SBE Council is working with small business leaders in the Congress to advance regulatory reform bills. We have identified specific regulations that need to be repealed or updated. SBE Council will urge Congress to use its authority to overturn new regulations that are unneeded or do not take in account their disproportionate impact on small business. SBE Council’s Center for Regulatory Solutions is a platform to advance these efforts on behalf of America’s small businesses.
ACCESS TO GLOBAL MARKETS. Small businesses cannot afford an era of protectionism. Entrepreneurs want and need access to international markets to sell their goods and services. The U.S. must continue to engage other nations in trade agreements to enable a more prosperous, interdependent and peaceful world. SBE Council is urging Congress and the Administration to finalize existing trade accords, and pursue new agreements. Along with trade, SBE Council is the leading small business voice urging the Administration to secure and enforce Intellectual Property (IP) protections at home and abroad.
Other Critical Issues
Affordable Energy: Supply-driven policies, including greater oil and natural gas exploration and development in the U.S.; more nuclear power; clean-coal technology; and incentives to accelerate technological innovation in alternative energy all must be pursued — and with a high sense of urgency. High energy costs disproportionately hurt small businesses. Consumers and workers have started to experience the benefits of the U.S. energy revolution. As SBE Council has reported in our research, this is a revolution being led by small businesses. SBE Council is the leading small business advocate for an aggressive pro-investment approach to U.S. energy policies — ones that will create an affordable and stable supply of energy, while helping our economy grow.
Workplace Regulation: SBE Council is protecting worker privacy and business flexibility – we strongly oppose “card check.” SBE Council is a leading voice to stop legislation or National Labor Relation Board efforts to eviscerate employee freedom, privacy and choice in regard to workplace unionization. Currently, the NLRB is pushing radical rules on employers, which will damage small business growth and innovation in the franchise sector. One-size-fits-all and complex rules that attempt to micromanage how and what employers pay their employees, how they operate their safety programs and communicate with their workforce, is an outdated approach with serious and negative consequences for our economy. SBE Council is working to stop misguided rulemakings that undermine the flexibility both employers and employees need to effectively operate their lives and businesses.
In the States: At the state and local level, SBE Council is making its voice heard. We work with state and local allies on improving the policy climate in the states. SBE Council’s Annual “Small Business Policy Index,” which ranks the states on their environments for business start-up and growth, is now in its 19th year. From this core Index, SBE Council produces a “Business Tax Index,” “Energy Cost Index” and “Health Care Cost Index” that measure the states on policies that affect the cost or burden in these specific areas.
How Does SBE Council Keep You Informed and Updated?
Small Business News – enews: SBE Council members stay updated through our weekly enews report. The e-newsletter includes important information about legislation, market trends, educational resources, “how to” tips, and other FREE or low cost training opportunities to help your firm grow and prosper during this challenging economic period. The weekly enews report will remind you about upcoming SBE Council events — for example, dates and times for regular webcasts and programming, and national or regional conferences.
ADVOCACY: SBE Council is urging the Administration and Congress to advance positive tax and economic growth policies.
SBE Council staff will continue to produce cutting-edge and insightful analysis for our members, the media, and elected officials to help target audiences understand the impact of legislation, regulatory proposals, and the Administration’s policies on small business. SBE Council delivers ACTION ALERTS to let you know when you need to contact your Members of Congress, the White House or take part in regulatory proceedings.
The views and ideas of SBE Council members and staff continue to be in demand on Capitol Hill, and with elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government. “Influentials” in the media and the private sector tap into SBE Council analysis and staff expertise to help them grasp complex issues, and the impact of proposed policies on entrepreneurship. SBE Council will always have a seat at the table when issues impacting entrepreneurs are being discussed, debated or decided.
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SBE Council is a 501c4 nonprofit advocacy and lobbying organization. Contributions to SBE Council are not tax deductible.