Like all aspects of life, the presidential election will have an impact on businesses. Stock market analysts use the election as a predictor on how stocks will fare in 2017. Small businesses look at elections differently. They usually are affected by local (mayoral or state) elections more than the presidential, but that doesn’t stop them from giving an opinion on it.
Based on a small business report, about one-third of those surveyed don’t see any effect at all. However, here are some issues from small businesses that they want to see the president tackle.
Local banks whose customers are small businesses face a disadvantage because of regulations that were implemented after the bank crisis. Although communities need the federal law to stop the same thing happening all over again, it places a disproportionate financial burden on smaller banks. They struggle to service the businesses who are their customers. The number of small banks in the United States dropped 14 percent after Dodd-Frank was enacted in 2010, according to researchers at George Mason University.
The federal government is supposed to give a certain percentage of contracts to small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities. They should be awarded contracts to companies in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Small businesses plan to hold the government accountable to reach their goals for government contracting. The government did not reach its 5 percent goal for contracts for women-owned companies in the 2013 fiscal year. Agencies also didn’t give a 3 percent goal for companies in disadvantaged areas.
The National Small Business Association, which is a group that supports small businesses in front of Congress and the president, says small companies have difficulty complying with current regulations. Many are unclear or are inconsistent with each other.
Because they choose the heads of the agencies, presidential candidates can impact how the government moves on this issue. NSBA wants Congress to move instead of being constantly blocked and wishes for the presidential candidate that can bring the legislative and executive branches together.
Credit Card Fraud
Small businesses want the same protections against credit card hacking and fraud that consumers enjoy. When consumer accounts are hacked, federal law says the consumer be notified. However, businesses don’t get that help automatically. Credit card fraud can be the death of their companies if someone hacks into their system. Plus, it opens them up to legal issues by clients and customers.
Online lending has grown quickly, and small businesses have taken advantage of it. Banks aren’t awarding loans to small businesses, so they are turning to the online lenders. They aren’t regulated, which leads to high interest rates and unfair practices. Lenders are practicing predatory lending, which is not allowed if you went to a financial institution that has a brick and mortar site.
Small businesses also want tax breaks like $500,000 deductions for equipment purchases made permanent, instead of being approved annually by Congress. The group also wants self-employed people to get full deduction of their health insurance premiums; currently, if their business incurs a loss, they cannot deduct the premiums.
About 800 small business owners were asked who they prefer to win the Republican nomination. Less than half, about 40 percent of those polled, believe that Donald Trump is the right man for the job. They cited the economy for small businesses as the reasons for Trump. Women business owners also favored Trump.
On the Democratic side, the survey respondents choose Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
The United States has more than 28 million small business owners operating. They are a strong force on the economy and want their voices heard in this election. They favor candidates who will fight unfair taxes and inconsistent regulations. They want to have a conversation with those in the elected office, not to be ignored. As the primaries continue, small businesses are watching the candidates looking for the ones who will support their issues.
Featured photo credit: Small Businesses via lifehack.org