• More respondents still think general business conditions will be worse than better in six months.
• Only 9 percent think it’s a good time to expand.
• Owners rank taxes and government “red tape” as the most important problems facing small businesses.
You’re not going to buy a new delivery truck if sales are down. You’re not going to hire if you don’t think you’ll have money to pay the new hires.
Look at things from a business owner’s perspective: You’re the boss. You sign the checks. You invested your life’s savings to start the business, and you’re on the hook if things don’t work out.
You have members of Congress who want to raise the personal income tax. What a lot of people don’t realize is that a majority of small employers are incorporated as S corporations. They pay their business taxes at the appropriate personal income rate.
You’re not going to invest in your business if you don’t know what’s coming down the pike.
Then you have the Affordable Care Act. It includes a provision called the health insurance tax, or HIT. It’s a tax on insurers, but the Congressional Budget Office says the insurance companies will simply jack up premiums rather than absorb additional cost.
Self-insured employers will be exempt from the HIT. That means the HIT is aimed squarely at small businesses like yours.
Then there’s a tidal wave of new rules and regulations. President Barack Obama’s most recent Unified Agenda shows 3,500 regulations in the pipeline; 700 will affect small businesses.
You’re not going to buy a new or used car if you think there’s a chance you’ll get laid off soon. Small-business owners in Georgia and elsewhere look at things the same way.
If Washington is serious about getting the economy back on track, it will stop threatening and cajoling small business with higher taxes, increased labor costs and excessive regulations. Simply put, Washington needs to get out of the way so Main Street can create jobs.
Kyle Jackson is Georgia state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.