The hubbub of the election is finally behind us, but with only a month left until the end of the year our nation is dangerously close to the edge of the “fiscal cliff”—a vast array of tax provisions set to expire at the end of 2012, at the same time that across-the-board spending cuts start to kick in. This situation could have dire consequences for small businesses and their core customer base, the middle class. That’s why small business owners were on the move this week in Washington, D.C., working with President Obama to come up with solutions to our tax and budget dilemma.
One of our network council members, Lisa Goodbee, traveled from Denver to D.C. as one of 15 entrepreneurs selected to meet with the president and discuss the challenges her business will face if we don’t sidestep the fiscal cliff.
Lisa talked about the meeting on CNN’s Early Start on Wednesday, and her remarks at the event have been covered by Businessweek, National Journal and more. Another small business owner in our network, Anne Zimmerman of Cincinnati, was recently featured on the front page of the New York Times discussing the expiration of high-income tax cuts—a provision much of the debate around the fiscal cliff is hinging upon.
Our team has also been doing plenty of work around the tax and budget issue. Yesterday, I spoke at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ 20th annual State Fiscal Policy conference to present our latest opinion poll, which reveals entrepreneurs are very concerned about the fiscal cliff. Two days ago, we launched a national webinar series on what the fiscal cliff means for small business.
And earlier this month I discussed taxes and healthcare reform on MSNBC Your Business. We’ve also been having conversations with members of Congress and senior administration officials.
Now that the election is over and the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, our long-standing work to ensure the successful implemention of the law and to make sure that small businesses are educated about it is more important than ever. We continue to advise state exchanges about building marketplaces that work for small business, and are working with the Department of Health and Human Services to help get federal exchanges up and running in states that have chosen to not establish their own.
On Nov. 27, Small Business Majority held a national webinar to educate small business owners on the fiscal cliff, with Center on Budget & Policy Priorities’ Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Ellen Nissenbaum. Thanks go out to all of the state and national business organizations who co-hosted the webinar.
On the same day as the meeting with small business owners, President Obama proposed a host of tax breaks to stimulate small business. Read our statement.
On Nov. 14, Small Business Majority released scientific opinion polling showing small business owners are very concerned about the fiscal cliff, and as a solution want targeted policies benefiting the majority of small businesses kept and those impacting only a few removed.
We continue to work closely with the California Health Benefit Exchange, now called Covered California. The Exchange Board recently approved a measure to allow employers participating in the small business exchange (SHOP) to offer their employees a choice of all participating insurance carriers, something that is typically only offered to big businesses today. We are also working with Covered California staff as they develop an outreach and education plan to inform small business owners and their employees about the new healthcare coverage options it will offer.
On Nov. 27, Western Outreach Manager Tim Gaudette presented at a free listening session to help Latino small business owners in Nevada learn what the Affordable Care Act means for them. Tim was part of a panel of experts including C.J. Bawden from the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.
On Nov. 15, we hosted a webinar with wellness expert Mari Ryan, MBA and CEO & Founder of AdvancingWellness. The webinar provided small business owners with the basic elements of creating a successful worksite wellness program.
On Nov. 1, we released a statement on a new report from the Commonwealth Fund showing small business owners and employees are less likely to be insured and have quality health coverage than they were a decade ago, which emphasizes small firms’ need for full implementation of healthcare reform.
On Nov. 13 and Nov. 7, Colorado Outreach Manager Tim Gaudette hosted a webinar for Grand Junction entrepreneurs, to help teach them about ways to make their businesses more energy efficient and save them money. On Nov. 1, Midwest Outreach Manager Mary Huttlinger hosted a similar webinar for Michigan small businesses.