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February 27, 2017

It’s a Priority

I recently attended the Small Business Congress in Washington, DC. This was a gathering of small business owners from across the country who meet every two years to listen, learn, and then vote on the priorities they want the National Small Business Association to pursue when advocating for small business.  The Top 10 issues are what you might expect. At the very top of the list is reining in the cost of healthcare and reforming the current tax regime. The entire list can be found here. It reinforces what a new survey discovered regarding regulations on small business.

I was impressed at the number of first-time participants at this event and the geographic diversity. Every small business owner knows it is hard to leave your operation for several days. For many this translates to lost income and a disruption to their business. Those I spoke with thought it was worth the time to make the trip, and were happy to have the opportunity to weigh in.

We applied an important “filter” to establish the priorities. The simple fact is there are many issues that affect business today. However, all were considered in the context of where small business could have the most impact and the number of entities affected. Small business owners are very practical and we understand we don’t have the resources to do it all. We also know some issues, while important, are not necessarily “our fight.”  Those issues might be ones that affect all sizes of entities and are best handled by coalitions of interested parties.

One overarching concern to the small business community is the lack of start-ups. According to the Small Business Administration, start-ups and closures have been on a downward trend since 1999. This is a trend many believe is a direct result of economic uncertainty, burdensome regulation, and issues with access to capital. These bubbled to the top of the discussion at the Small Business Congress. As someone who really believes small businesses are important to job creation, and the future of our communities and this country, I hope we will make progress quickly so more individuals consider opening their door for business.

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