IN THIS ISSUE

 Healthcare
 Listening Tours and Webinars
 Job Creation
 Clean Energy

PEOPLE, PLACES & EVENTS

Story Bank
11/17: We participated in “What’s in it for Small Non Profits,” an event hosted by the United Way of Greater Kansas Citythat gave nonprofits information about what’s in the healthcare reform law for them.
11/10: We hosted a California webinar to walk small business owners through the California Health Coverage Guide, an online resource available in English and Spanish that provides California small business owners with objective, step-by-step information on how to navigate the healthcare market since the passage of national healthcare reform.
11/10: We participated in The Bottom Line: How Health Care Reform Helps Small Businesses, an event hosted by the Health Care for All! Coalition and the Greater Baltimore Urban League.
10/31: We held our first of many access to credit webinars to give entrepreneurs tips on federal loan programs and accessing traditional bank loans. We also discussed long-term policy solutions that could ensure small businesses get the credit they deserve.
Over the past month, we’ve held healthcare webinars in Florida, Nebraska, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Idaho, Alabama and California, plus a national webinar. These online seminars educate small business owners on provisions of the Affordable Care Act that affect their small business.
Small Business Majority’s access to credit webinar series has so far spanned New Mexico, Florida, California, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, New York State, New York City, Rochester, New York and Maine. These online discussions guide entrepreneurs through the process of obtaining credit.

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FEATURED NEWS

Small Biz Sees Big Opportunity in Energy Efficiency
AllBusiness
11.18.2011
The ACA small business tax credit: Build the bridge wider, don’t blow it up
The Hill
11.16.2011
Gasoline prices remain at record highs for this time of year
Los Angeles Times
11.15.2011
Reid challenges Republicans on ‘job-killing regs’
Las Vegas Review-Journal
11.15.2011
Few small firms using health care tax credits
Phoenix Business Journal
11.11.2011
Don’t Overlook These Tax Credits and Deductions
Fox Business
11.11.2011
Bernanke Says U.S. Should Support Small Business to Boost Jobs
Bloomberg Businessweek
11.9.2011
Small Businesses To Lawmakers: Give Us Some Credit!
Huffington Post
11.1.2011
Small-Business Owners Group Raises Concerns Over PBM Merger
The Wall Street Journal
11.1.2011
Role of Small Businesses
New York Times
10.31.2011

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Letter from John Arensmeyer

This year is fast coming to a close, but one thing that won’t change come 2012 is small business’ role in creating jobs and pulling the economy out of its slump. Job creation is an area where a bipartisan solution should be found to put small businesses back on the hiring track. That’s why we’ve been working to remind legislators of their opportunities to harness small business’ power to reboot the economy.

On Nov. 3, I testified in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee about policies that can jumpstart small business activity and promote job growth. Poor sales due to weak demand have been exacerbated by an additional set of problems including high healthcare and energy costs, which have prevented small businesses from resuming their traditional role as the country’s primary job creators. For small businesses to pull the economy out of the financial doldrums, lawmakers need to develop and implement effective policies that address these issues. In his Nov. 15 speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Harry Reid cited our research regarding the issues most affecting small business today.

To help highlight small business owners’ healthcare problems, I submitted testimony to the House Subcommittee on Oversight on Ways and Means for its Nov. 15 hearing on the small business tax credits in the Affordable Care Act. I urged legislators and all those with a stake in small businesses’ success to step up education efforts around the tax credits to ensure small businesses know they’re here to help them.

The day after submitting these comments, we held the second of three forums in Sacramento on California’s small business insurance exchange—another crucial part of the Affordable Care Act for small businesses. The panel discussion built on conversations we had at our first forum in October about how to make the exchange successful. We’re excited to host our third and final forum on Jan. 11. Click here to register or get more information.

We’ve also been continuing our cross-country Healthcare Listening Tours and multi-issue webinar series. Over the next month, we’ll make Listening Tour stops throughout Missouri and hold webinars in various states to inform small business owners about the Affordable Care Act.

Our Access to Credit webinar series is also in full swing. The 30-day series is educating entrepreneurs about various loan resources and programs.

The extensive outreach we do is intended to educate small business owners, but we also seek to give them a voice in Washington. Our scientific opinion research is one way we help them express their wants and needs. On Nov. 14, we released energy efficiency poll results for California, Michigan and Ohio. The survey revealed broad support in all three states for stronger fuel economy standards, as higher standards would drive down fuel costs and help boost small firms’ bottom lines.

On a final note, remember that Nov. 26 is Small Business Saturday. As part of the Small Business Saturday Coalition, we encourage you to support the small business community by visiting local businesses this Saturday!

For more information on our research, policy focus areas and outreach activities, visit www.smallbusinessmajority.org.

 

HEALTHCARE

On Nov. 8, John Arensmeyer helped lead a small business workshop around healthcare alongside Congressman George Miller in Concord, California. The roundtable discussion focused on provisions in the Affordable Care Act such as tax credits, health insurance exchanges, and other cost containment provisions that can boost small business owners’ bottom lines. Further information on these provisions and on the process of shopping for health insurance is available for employers in Small Business Majority’s California Health Coverage Guide. To reach out to employers about the new website, Small Business Majority’s California Outreach Director, David Chase, hosted a Nov. 10 webinar to educate them on the guide’s various tools.

On the exchange front, the second of Small Business Majority’s SHOP Exchange forums took place in Sacramento on Nov. 16. Speakers included Terry Gardiner, Small Business Majority’s Vice President for Policy and Strategy, Jason Andrew, owner of brokerage firm Stone Meadow Benefits and Insurance Associates, and Ken Comeau, Vice President of Connecticut Business and Industry Association. Micah Weinberg, Senior Policy Advisor for the Bay Area Council, moderated the discussion. Panelists at the second forum focused on how to provide value that can attract small business owners to the exchange and what role brokers will play. Business leaders, advocates, government officials, insurers and brokers are encouraged to attend the third and final forum, taking place Jan. 11. Find more information here.

On Nov. 15, John Arensmeyer submitted testimony to the House Subcommittee on Oversight on Ways and Means in regards to that days’ hearing on the tax credits. Read the testimony here. Also, take a look at this Phoenix Business Journal piece. In the story, John discusses why it’s crucial lawmakers and advocacy groups step up their outreach efforts to educate small business owners about the tax credits. For even more information, check out Healthcare.gov’s new Healthcare Blog for small businesses. It contains a wealth of information just for small employers.

And on Nov. 1, we sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission voicing concerns over Express Scripts’ proposed acquisition of Medco Health Solutions. The merger would reduce competition in the pharmacy benefit manager market, in turn hindering job growth and causing healthcare costs for small businesses to rise. Our letter was noted in The Wall Street Journal and a number of additional publications.

Listening Tours and Webinars

We’ve been pounding the pavement with our state-to-state healthcare Listening Tours. We recently wrapped up tours in Virginia, Nevada and Florida, but we’re not stopping there. Our tour next takes us to Missouri, where we’ll host a number of events over the following month.

Oct. 26 marked our Arlington healthcare listening tour stop with BizLaunch and the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce. And on Nov. 9 in Las Vegas, National Outreach and Government Affairs director Rhett Buttle co-hosted back-to-back free informational listening sessions for Nevada small business owners. His events were hosted in partnership with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Chamber of Commerce. The next day, Rhett hosted another free healthcare forum alongside SCORE in Las Vegas.

While Outreach Manager Jessica Stone will soon head off to Missouri, this past week she spent time in Miami co-hosting a Nov. 17 healthcare information session in partnership with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Our “30 Days of Access to Credit,” webinar series are also in full swing. From state to state, these online seminars discuss how to take advantage of the Treasury’s Small Business Lending Fund, loan opportunities available through small banks and credit unions and the extensive host of resources offered by the Small Business Administration. Last week we held online events in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, and this week we’ll hit Florida and North Carolina.

 

JOB CREATION 

 

Right now, we’re focused on promoting smart, pragmatic ways to create jobs in the small business sector. Lawmakers should be doing the same. That’s why John Arensmeyer testified in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Nov. 3 on policies that promote small business growth and job creation. John’s discussion highlighted ways that leaders can come together, partisanship aside, and pass a jobs plan that will stimulate small business growth. The path to economic recovery starts with small firms, and for them to grow and hire, they need increased access to credit. What’s more, out-of-control healthcare and energy costs are watering down profits for small business owners, and it is time steps are taken to change that. Read John’s testimony here.

To address one of the major issues entrepreneurs deal with—accessing credit—Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz launched a small business lending program on Nov. 1 called “Create Jobs for USA.” Through the program, a $5 donation at any Starbucks will provide $35 in financing for small businesses so they can harness their power to generate jobs. In the Huffington Post, John blogged in support of Create Jobs for USA and outlined why lawmakers need to make helping small businesses get access to credit a top priority.

John was also recently invited to join a new small business advisory board. On Oct. 25 he participated in the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s inaugural meeting of its Enterprise Economic Impact Council. This board of experts will work to identify and characterize the current challenges at the core of small business. Based on their findings, they’ll be equipped to begin shaping policy recommendations that can help small businesses meet these challenges head on. John’s New York Times letter to the editor also talks about why small business owners’ challenges must be addressed before they can fulfill their traditional roles as job creators.

 

CLEAN ENERGY

 

On Nov. 14, Small Business Majority released the results of energy innovation polling in California, Michigan and Ohio. The Obama Administration recently announced its draft rule to increase average fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and strengthen carbon emissions standards for light-duty vehicles. A majority of business owners in these states favor requiring the auto industry to increase the average fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to 60 miles per gallon by 2025. This is an even stronger standard than the one the Administration announced.

California also plans to release an outline for updating its clean cars program that will strengthen standards to reduce carbon emissions from light-duty vehicles sold in the state. Our opinion survey underscores small business owners’ understanding that the forthcoming standards will help boost their bottom lines in the long run as fuel prices drop. Read more about our poll findings in California in the Los Angeles Times.


Published by SmallBusinessMajority.org
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