Where Are Small Business Issues on the Campaign Trail?

March 1st, 2016

You don’t need me to tell you that our current
presidential campaign is unlike any that we’ve
seen in recent years. But it might be worth
pointing out that so far, at least, small business
issues and concerns have hardly been front and
center.
That’s not a good thing, as a recent survey
of independent small business owners and
operators by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
makes all too clear.
You’ll find a more detailed report on the survey
findings in our Industry News section but the
bottom line is that independent businesses could
be doing a whole lot better if they didn’t have to
contend with federal, state and local government
policies that hold them back or put them at a
disadvantage against their larger competitors.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t been
hearing any of the current candidates talking
much about the need for increased small
business support.
The survey identifies a number of areas where
help is needed. For example, independent
businesses too often end up being turned down
for the bank loans they need to grow. They face
unfair competition from online resellers who,
unlike them, are exempt from collecting sales tax
from their customers.
They also see their own tax dollars being used
to support sweetheart tax breaks for their larger
competitors, even though there’s a fair amount
of evidence to show big box development
actually hurts local economies rather than
helping them any.
Do you know what positions your candidates
have on these issues and others like them? It
might be a good idea to find time over the next
few months to ask them and make sure they
have answers that make sense.
by Simon De Groot

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